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Paraísos Fiscales, Wealth Taxation, and Mobility

Author

Listed:
  • David R. Agrawal.

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Dirk Foremny

    (UB - Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Clara Martinez-Toledano

    (WIL - World Inequality Lab , Columbia Business School - Columbia University [New York])

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of wealth taxation on mobility and the consequences for tax revenue and wealth inequality. We exploit the unique decentralization of the Spanish wealth tax system in 2011—after which all regions levied positive tax rates except for Madrid—using linked administrative wealth and income tax records. We find that five years after the reform, the stock of wealthy individuals in the region of Madrid increases by 10% relative to other regions, while smaller tax differentials between other regions do not matter for mobility. We rationalize our findings with a theoretical model of evasion and migration, which suggests that evasion is the mechanism most consistent with all of the mobility response being driven by the paraíso fiscal. Combining new subnational wealth inequality series with our estimated elasticities, we show that Madrid's status as a tax haven reduces the effectiveness of raising tax revenue and exacerbates regional wealth inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • David R. Agrawal. & Dirk Foremny & Clara Martinez-Toledano, 2020. "Paraísos Fiscales, Wealth Taxation, and Mobility," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03093674, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wilwps:halshs-03093674
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03093674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Florian Scheuer & Joel Slemrod, 2021. "Taxing Our Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 207-230, Winter.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • 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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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