April 23, 2014

Saving behavior and risk taking: Evidence from the Dutch Tax Reform in 2001

We estimate the impact of the marginal tax rate on the ownership in risk-bearing assets and on the share in total assets. In contrast to the literature, we use instrumental variables to correct for endogeneity of the marginal tax rate on capital income.
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Moreover, we use the exogenous variation in marginal tax rates from the Dutch tax reform of 2001. We find that a change in the difference in the marginal tax rate between risky assets and riskless assets has a significant positive impact on the ownership of risky assets and growth funds. A ten percentage point increase of the marginal rate results in a 0.5 percentage point increase of the probability of owning risky assets. The tax rate has no impact on the share of risky assets if we correct for endogeneity and selection.


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