Tobin tax and trading volume tightening: a reassessment
This article extends the previous literature on the Tobin tax and financial transaction tax. We investigate the linkages between trading volumes and transaction costs using both a linear and a nonlinear methodology. In stark contrast with previous studies, we consider the possibility that our model may exhibit threshold effects or regime dependency by estimating a Markov Switching (MS) model. This paper is the first contribution to specify the trading volume of the Forex through different (low and high volatility) regimes. Our empirical investigation looks at the EUR/USD currency market. Our results show evidence of nonlinear patterns for trading volumes and transaction costs on the Forex. The Tobin tax would not have a monotonic impact on trading activity across market conditions. However, the change in elasticity between low and high volatility regimes is slight (-0.17 versus -0.21). We may suggest that the low-variance regime might be the fundamentalist regime and the high- variance regime (lower Tobin tax elasticity) might be the chartist regime. This study is a first step towards understanding which categories of agents dominate the market under the various market regimes and how they would react to the introduction of a tax. This means our results are consistent with Tobin's underlying thinking (1974, 1978, 1996). Since a tax would penalize chartists more than fundamentalists, it could reduce exchange rate volatility.
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