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On the Political Economy of Housings Tax Status

Listed author(s):
  • Eerola, Essi
  • Määttänen, Niku

Most households have most of their wealth in the form of housing. We analyze how this distributional feature shapes the political economy of housing taxation. We build a simple dynamic general equilibrium model where households vote over the tax treatment of housing and business capital. The model is calibrated so as to match the joint distribution of financial wealth and housing wealth among US households. The median voter has a large share of his wealth in the form of housing and most of his income is wage earnings. The key trade-off he faces is that lowering the tax burden on business capital while increasing the tax burden on housing leads to higher wages but also increases his own share of the overall tax burden.

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Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 905.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:905
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  1. Fullerton, Don, 1987. "The indexation of interest, depreciation, and capital gains and tax reform in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-51, February.
  2. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
  3. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  4. Broadbent, Ben & Kremer, Michael, 2001. "Does favorable tax-treatment of housing reduce non-housing investment?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 369-391, September.
  5. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 2002. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 345-362, March.
  6. Poterba, James M, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-242, May.
  7. Hendershott, Patric H. & Won, Yunhi, 1992. "Introducing risky housing and endogenous tenure choice into a portfolio-based general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 293-316, August.
  8. Patric H. Hendershott & Michael White, 2000. "Taxing and Subsidizing Housing Investment: The Rise and Fall of Housing's Favored Status," NBER Working Papers 7928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Berkovec, James & Fullerton, Don, 1992. "A General Equilibrium Model of Housing, Taxes, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 390-429, April.
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