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Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Switzerland

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  • Brülhart, Marius
  • Gruber, Jonathan
  • Krapf, Matthias
  • Schmidheiny, Kurt

Abstract

We study how reported wealth responds to changes in wealth tax rates. Exploiting rich intra-national variation in Switzerland, the country with the highest revenue share of annual wealth taxation in the OECD, we find that a 1 percentage point drop in the wealth tax rate raises reported wealth by at least 43% after 6 years. Administrative tax records of two cantons with quasi-randomly assigned differential tax reforms suggest that 24% of the effect arise from taxpayer mobility and 20% from house price capitalization. Savings responses appear unable to explain more than a small fraction of the remainder, suggesting sizable evasion responses in this setting with no third-party reporting of financial wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Brülhart, Marius & Gruber, Jonathan & Krapf, Matthias & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2019. "Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 14054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14054
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral Responses; Switzerland; tax evasion; taxpayer mobility; Wealth Taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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