Tax Incentives and Household Portfolios: A Panel Data Analysis
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.
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