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The Wealth Tax and Entrepreneurial Activity

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Abstract

Entrepreneurship is often credited with generating important positive economic externalities. For example, entrepreneurs are often credited for promoting innovation, discovering new markets, and serving as a mechanism for knowledge spillover. Governments increasingly view encouraging entrepreneurship as an important policy objective. Economists have long studied the determinants of entrepreneurship. Taxation has also been found to be important, in particular income taxes and capital taxes. One form of taxation that has not been considered so far, however, is the wealth tax. The wealth tax is likely to influence entrepreneurship negatively, by affecting the pool of capital available to start up businesses as well as reducing the net return to successful entrepreneurship. This paper illustrates the impact of a tax on wealth on entrepreneurship using a simple model of the choice between becoming an entrepreneur or an employee. Actual data is then used to crudely investigate whether the wealth tax indeed has a measurable effect on self-employment in OECD countries, using increasingly sophisticated techniques. A difference-in-difference type estimator using the abolishment of the wealth tax as a ”natural experiment” points to a consistent pattern of a perceptible, but small impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansson, Åsa, 2005. "The Wealth Tax and Entrepreneurial Activity," Working Papers 2005:43, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2005_043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mikael Stenkula, 2012. "Taxation and entrepreneurship in a welfare state," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 77-97, July.
    2. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "The economics of taxing net wealth: A survey of the issues," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 12/5, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    3. Dirk Schindler, 2017. "Wealth Taxation, Non-listed Firms, and the Risk of Entrepreneurial Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6537, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Niemann, Rainer & Sureth, Caren, 2016. "Does capital tax uncertainty delay irreversible risky investment?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 209, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Rainer Niemann & Caren Sureth-Sloane, 2016. "Does Capital Tax Uncertainty Delay Irreversible Risky Investment?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6046, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Ruud A. De Mooij & Gaëtan J.A. Nicodème, 2006. "Corporate Tax Policy, Entrepreneurship and Incorporation in the EU," CESifo Working Paper Series 1883, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; wealth tax; difference-in-difference estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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