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Evaluating the Taxation of Risky Assets

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

This paper explores the taxation of risky assets, both from the theoretical perspective of optimal taxation and from the practical one of measuring "the" tax rate on an asset when, as under existing practice, its stochastic returns are subject to differential tax treatment across states of nature. The results suggest that it may be "appropriate" for tax rates to vary systematically with the riskiness of an asset, but that use of the expected tax rate to evaluate the characteristics of any particular tax system may be very misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 1981. "Evaluating the Taxation of Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 0806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-706, September.
    2. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
    3. Jack M. Mintz, 1981. "Some Additional Results on Investment, Risk Taking, and Full Loss Offset Corporate Taxation with Interest Deductibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 631-642.
    4. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    5. Fischer, Stanley, 1972. "Assets, Contingent Commodities, and the Slutsky Equations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 371-385, March.
    6. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE KELLY CAPITAL GROWTH INVESTMENT CRITERION THEORY and PRACTICE, chapter 31, pages 465-472 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Diamond, Peter A & Yaari, Menahem, 1972. "Implications of the Theory of Rationing for Consumer Choice Under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 333-343, June.
    8. Roger H. Gordon, 1985. "Taxation of Corporate Capital Income: Tax Revenues Versus Tax Distortions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-27.
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    Cited by:

    1. Saman Majd & Stewart C. Myers, 1985. "Valuing the Government's Tax Claim on Risky Corporate Assets," NBER Working Papers 1553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Louis Kaplow, 1991. "Taxation and Risk Taking: A General Equilibrium Perspective," NBER Working Papers 3709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Joel Slemrod, 1982. "Tax Effects on the Allocation of Capital Among Sectors and Among Individuals: A Portfolio Approach," NBER Working Papers 0951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Auerbach, Alan J, 1991. "Retrospective Capital Gains Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 167-178, March.

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