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Consequences of Debt Capitalization: Property Ownership and Debt/Tax Choice


  • Reiner Eichenberger
  • David Stadelmann


Public debts capitalize into property prices. Therefore, property owners tend to favor tax over debt financing for government spending. In contrast, tenants do not suffer from debt capitalization. Thus, they tend to favor debt over tax financing. Our model of the resulting democratic fight between property owners and tenants over public debts and taxes predicts that the property ownership rate in a jurisdiction negatively effects the debt level. We provide empirical support for this hypothesis by analyzing a cross-section of the 171 communities in the Swiss Canton of Zurich in the year 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann, 2009. "Consequences of Debt Capitalization: Property Ownership and Debt/Tax Choice," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2009-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
    2. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Somogyi, Frank & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2011. "Tax competition and income sorting: Evidence from the Zurich metropolitan area," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 455-470, September.

    More about this item


    Public Debts; Homeownership; Taxes; Ricardian Equivalence;

    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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