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Incentives to Borrow and the Demand for Mortgage Debt: An Analysis of Tax Reforms




Before 1992 mortgage interest in Italy was fully tax deductible up to 3,500 Euro (7,000 for two cosigners). In 1992-94 the government implemented a series of tax reforms whose ultimate effect was to cancel the relation between the after-tax mortgage rate and the marginal tax rate. Using data from the 1987-2000 Survey of Household Income and Wealth we test if the cancellation of incentives has reduced the propensity to borrow of high-income taxpayers relative to the other population groups. Difference-in-differences estimates and regression analysis indicate that tax considerations have not affected the demand for mortgage debt, either at the extensive or intensive margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2002. "Incentives to Borrow and the Demand for Mortgage Debt: An Analysis of Tax Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 90, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:90

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scholz, J.K., 1993. "Tax Progressivity and Household Portfolio: Descriptive Evidence from the Surveys of Consumer Finances," Working papers 9304, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    2. Patric H. Hendershott & Dr. Gwilyn Pryce & Dr. Michael White, 2002. "Household Leverage and the Deductibility of Home Mortgage Interest: Evidence from UK House Purchasers," NBER Working Papers 9207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications," NBER Working Papers 8223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martins, Nuno C. & Villanueva, Ernesto, 2006. "The impact of mortgage interest-rate subsidies on household borrowing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1601-1623, September.
    2. Jonathan Crook & Stefan Hochguertel, 2007. "US and European Household Debt and Credit Constraints," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-087/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Nuno C. Martins & Ernesto Villanueva, 2003. "The impact of interest-rate subsidies on long-term household debt: Evidence from a large program," Economics Working Papers 713, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Paiella, Monica & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2007. "Choosing Between Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp07033, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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