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New Evidence on Taxes and Portfolio Choice

  • Sule Alan
  • Kadir Atalay
  • Thomas F. Crossley
  • Sung-Hee Jeon

Identifying the effect of differential taxation on portfolio allocation requires exogenous variation in marginal tax rates. Marginal tax rates vary with income, but income surely affects portfolio choice directly. In systems of individual taxation – like Canada’s – couples with the same household income can face different effective tax rates on capital income when labor income is distributed differently within households. Using this source of variation we find statistically significant but economically modest responses to taxation. In a “placebo” test, using data from the U.S. (which has joint taxation), we find no effect of the intra-household distribution of labor income on portfolios.

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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports with number 431.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:431
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  1. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas F. Crossley & Sung-Hee Jeon, 2006. "Joint Taxation and the Labour Supply of Married Women: Evidence from the Canadian Tax Reform of 1988," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 404, McMaster University.
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  7. Martin Browning, 1994. "The Saving Behaviour of a Two Person Household," Discussion Papers 96-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jan 1996.
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  10. Poterba, James M., 2002. "Taxation, risk-taking, and household portfolio behavior," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 1109-1171 Elsevier.
  11. 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.
  12. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 1999. "Taxation and Household Portfolio Composition: U.S. Evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," NBER Working Papers 7392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
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  15. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Personal Taxation and Portfolio Composition: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 631-50, July.
  16. Herbert J. Schuetze, 2006. "Income splitting among the self-employed," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1195-1220, November.
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