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Did Steve Forbes Scare the Municipal Bond Market?

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  • Joel Slemrod
  • Timothy Greimel

Abstract

Evidence from daily market data is consistent with the view that the implicit tax rate on 5-year municipal bonds was affected by the chance of a flat tax becoming law, as proxied by the price of Steve Forbes' shares on the Iowa Electronic Market for political candidates; the spread was also affected by the likelihood of a Republican president and the impact of deficit reduction. No similar evidence for the impact of the flat tax could be found for the 30-year municipal market, although that spread does seem to be affected by the probability of a Republican winning the White House, and the lower taxes on capital income that presumably implies. These findings are consistent with market participants taking the flat tax seriously as a short-run possibility, but believing that over a three-decade period the taxation of capital is more likely to be influenced by the party in power than the tax reform fad of the moment. Alternatively it may reflect the fact that, due to several features of 30-year bonds, the changing likelihood of a flat tax is not clearly reflected in that market.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Slemrod & Timothy Greimel, 1998. "Did Steve Forbes Scare the Municipal Bond Market?," NBER Working Papers 6583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6583
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    Cited by:

    1. Merle Erickson & Austan Goolsbee & Edward Maydew, 2002. "How Prevalent is Tax Arbitrage? Evidence from the Market for Municipal Bonds," NBER Working Papers 9105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2006. "Prediction Markets in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5578, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Policy Uncertainty, Electoral Securities, And Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 45-71, February.
    4. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Five Open Questions About Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 12060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2009. "Using Markets to Inform Policy: The Case of the Iraq War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 225-250, April.
    6. Sialm, Clemens, 2006. "Stochastic taxation and asset pricing in dynamic general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 511-540, March.
    7. Shoven, John B. & Sialm, Clemens, 2004. "Asset location in tax-deferred and conventional savings accounts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 23-38, January.
    8. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, Spring.
    9. Knight*, Brian, 2007. "Are policy platforms capitalized into equity prices? Evidence from the Bush/Gore 2000 Presidential Election," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 389-409, February.
    10. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio, 2015. "Fear of Obama: An empirical study of the demand for guns and the U.S. 2008 presidential election," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 66-79.
    11. Lorenz Kueng, 2014. "Tax News: The Response of Household Spending to Changes in Expected Taxes," NBER Working Papers 20437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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