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The Effects of Dividend Taxes on Equity Prices; A Re-examination of the 1997 U.K. Tax Reform


  • Stephen Bond
  • Alexander D Klemm
  • Michael B. Devereux


We re-examine the extent to which personal taxes on dividends are capitalized into the equity prices of domestic firms, using data from around the time of the 1997 U.K. dividend tax reform, which removed a significant tax credit for an important group of investors: U.K. pension funds. The tax-adjusted CAPM suggests that the impact should depend on an average of dividend tax rates across all investors, and that U.K. pension funds should reduce their holdings of the previously tax-favored asset: U.K. equities. Given that U.K. pension funds are small relative to the total size of the world capital market, a small open economy-type argument implies that the main effect of the reform would be to reduce U.K. pension funds' ownership of U.K. equities, with little impact on their price. We present evidence which is consistent with these hypotheses. We discuss why previous research (Bell and Jenkinson, 2002) reached a different conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Bond & Alexander D Klemm & Michael B. Devereux, 2007. "The Effects of Dividend Taxes on Equity Prices; A Re-examination of the 1997 U.K. Tax Reform," IMF Working Papers 07/204, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/204

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    Cited by:

    1. Seppo Kari & Jussi Laitila, 2015. "Nonlinear Dividend Tax and the Dynamics of the Firm," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(2), pages 153-177, June.
    2. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten, 2012. "The Norwegian shareholder tax reconsidered," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(3), pages 424-441, June.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:56-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Michael P. Devereux, 2008. "Taxation of outbound direct investment: economic principles and tax policy considerations," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 698-719, winter.
    5. Geiler, Philipp & Renneboog, Luc, 2015. "Taxes, earnings payout, and payout channel choice," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-203.
    6. repec:eee:finana:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:54-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Henrekson, Magnus & Sanandaji, Tino, 2016. "Owner-Level Taxes and Business Activity," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 12(1), pages 1-94, March.

    More about this item


    Economic models; Investment; Pensions; Tax reforms; United Kingdom; Stock prices; Tax reform; dividends; stock market; investors; pension; pension funds; tax rate; tax rates;

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