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Tax Incentives and Household Portfolios: A Panel Data Analysis


  • Sule Alan

    (Department of Economics, York University)

  • Søren Leth-Petersen

    (Akf - Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark)


This paper investigates the responsiveness of household portfolios to tax incentives by exploiting a substantial tax reform that altered after-tax returns and cost of debt for a large number of households. An extraordinary panel data set that covers two years before and after the reform is used for the analysis. Our empirical findings suggest that households reshuffle their balance sheets in the case of a partial deductibility phase-out. In particular, heavily taxed,interest-bearing assets are used to pay off mortgage debt. Furthermore, we find that taxes have a significant impact on the structure of household portfolios even after controlling for unobserved heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Sule Alan & Søren Leth-Petersen, 2006. "Tax Incentives and Household Portfolios: A Panel Data Analysis," CAM Working Papers 2006-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2006_13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2008. "Who Cares About Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-24, March.
    2. King, Mervyn A. & Leape, Jonathan I., 1998. "Wealth and portfolio composition: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 155-193, June.
    3. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-565, May.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications," NBER Working Papers 8223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sule Alan, 2006. "Entry Costs and Stock Market Participation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 588-611, October.
    7. Martins, Nuno C. & Villanueva, Ernesto, 2006. "The impact of mortgage interest-rate subsidies on household borrowing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1601-1623, September.
    8. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Do people respond to tax incentives? An analysis of the Italian reform of the deductibility of home mortgage interests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 247-271, February.
    9. Hubbard, Robert Glenn, 1985. "Personal Taxation, Pension Wealth, and Portfolio Composition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 53-60, February.
    10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Personal Taxation and Portfolio Composition: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 631-650, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Sule & Honoré Bo E. & Hu Luojia & Leth-Petersen Søren, 2014. "Estimation of Panel Data Regression Models with Two-Sided Censoring or Truncation," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, January.
    2. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2008. "Who Cares About Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Nicolas Sauter & Jan Walliser & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Tax Incentives, Bequest Motives, and the Demand for Life Insurance: Evidence from two Natural Experiments in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3040, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. David A. Love & Paul A. Smith, 2010. "Does health affect portfolio choice?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(12), pages 1441-1460, December.
    5. Zoutman, Floris T., 2014. "The Effect of Capital Taxes on Household's Portfolio Composition and Intertemporal Choice: Evidence from the Dutch 2001 Capital Income Tax Reform," Discussion Papers 2014/23, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.

    More about this item


    household portfolios; taxation; panel data; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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