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Who Cares about Mortgage Interest Deductibility?

We use the Survey of Consumer Finances to measure the change in federal tax liability that would result should mortgage interest no longer be deductible from taxable income. We argue that the elimination of this housing tax provision would lead households to reshuffle their balance sheet, thereby lowering the amount of interest income taxes collected. We find that the cost of this tax provision is between 35 and 65 percent of the estimates produced by the Office of Management and Budget, depending on the types of assets one assumes would be used to lower mortgage debt following the removal of the provision. Furthermore, since mostly rich households would be in a position to reshuffle their balance sheet following such a change in tax policy, the distributional effect of this program are much smaller than conventionally believed.

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File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/epri/workingpapers_docs/wp2005/Gervais_Pandey_09.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute in its series University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers with number 20059.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20059
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economic Policy Research Institute, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/epri_workingpapers.html

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  1. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  2. Maki, Dean M., 1996. "Portfolio Shuffling and Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(3), pages 317-29, September.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 37-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Life-cycle asset accumulation and allocation in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 1057-1106, August.
  5. Sule Alan & S�ren Leth-Petersen, 2006. "Tax Incentives and Household Portfolios: A Panel Data Analysis," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 163, McMaster University.
  6. 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.
  7. Jonathan Skinner & Daniel Feenberg, 1990. "The Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform Act on Personal Saving," NBER Working Papers 3257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Martin Gervais, 1998. "Housing Taxation and Capital Accumulation," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  9. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Brian J. Surette, 2000. "Recent changes in U. S. family finances: results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-29.
  10. Richard K. Green & Patric H. Hendershott & Dennis R. Capozza, 1996. "Taxes, Mortgage Borrowing and House Prices," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 96-06, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
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