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Debt Capitalization: A New Perspective on Ricardian Equivalence

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

Rational individuals know that present government debts transform into higher future taxes. The Ricardian equivalence implies that the burden of the debt is not shifted between generations because of compensating intergenerational transfers. While the assumptions for Ricardian equivalence to hold are quite demanding, we argue that there exists another equivalence mechanism which works also with non-altruistic individuals: Public debts capitalize into property values. Thus, communities with larger net debts exhibit, ceteris paribus, lower property prices. We provide empirical evidence for debt capitalization using unique data for the Swiss metropolitan area of Zurich.

Suggested Citation

  • David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2008. "Debt Capitalization: A New Perspective on Ricardian Equivalence," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-30, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2008-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Brueckner, Jan K., 1979. "Property values, local public expenditure and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 223-245, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2014. "Public debts capitalize into property prices: empirical evidence for a new perspective on debt incidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(3), pages 498-529, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capitalization; Public Debts; Ricardian Equivalence; Taxes; Local Public Goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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