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The incidence of transaction taxes: evidence from a stamp duty holiday

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  • Besley, Timothy
  • Meads, Neil
  • Surico, Paolo

Abstract

This paper exploits the 2008–09 stamp duty holiday in the United Kingdom to estimate the incidence of a transaction tax on housing. The average reduction in the after-tax sale price is found to be around £900 against the backdrop of an average tax reduction of about £1500. While we estimate an increase in transactions of properties affected by the tax holiday around 8%, most of this effect appears to have reversed rapidly after the policy was withdrawn, suggesting mostly a short-term retiming of transactions. The findings are calibrated to a simple bargaining model to show they imply that about sixty percent of the surplus generated by the holiday accrued to buyers.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy & Meads, Neil & Surico, Paolo, 2014. "The incidence of transaction taxes: evidence from a stamp duty holiday," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59637, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:59637
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/59637/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wojciech Kopczuk & David Munroe, 2015. "Mansion Tax: The Effect of Transfer Taxes on the Residential Real Estate Market," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 214-257, May.
    2. Jos Van Ommeren & Michiel Van Leuvensteijn, 2005. "New Evidence of the Effect of Transaction Costs on Residential Mobility," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 681-702.
    3. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, May.
    4. Ben Dachis & Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "The effects of land transfer taxes on real estate markets: evidence from a natural experiment in Toronto," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 327-354, March.
    5. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
    7. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Lyytikäinen, Teemu, 2017. "Transfer taxes and household mobility: Distortion on the housing or labor market?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 57-73.
    2. repec:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:110-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Schöni, Olivier, 2016. "Housing policies in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States: lessons learned," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 72818, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Langenmayr, Dominika, 2017. "Voluntary disclosure of evaded taxes — Increasing revenue, or increasing incentives to evade?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 110-125.
    5. Christian A. L. Hilber & Teemu Lyytikäinen, 2012. "The Effect of the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax on Household Mobility," SERC Discussion Papers 0115, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    6. Thiess Büttner, 2017. "Welfare Cost of the Real Estate Transfer Tax," CESifo Working Paper Series 6321, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Carolin Fritzsche & Lars Vandrei, 2016. "The German Real Estate Transfer Tax: Evidence for Single-Family Home Transactions," ifo Working Paper Series 232, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    8. repec:eee:juecon:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:137-153 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:144:y:2017:i:c:p:18-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Petkova, Kunka & Weichenrieder, Alfons, 2017. "Price and Quantity Effects of the German Real Estate Transfer Tax," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168305, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax holiday; surplus incidence; surveyor's evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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