Project

Back to overview

The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland

English title The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland
Applicant Schmidheiny Kurt
Number 166618
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.01.2017 - 30.04.2019
Approved amount 258'280.00
Show all

Keywords (3)

Wealth Taxation; Inequality; Redistribution

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die wirtschaftlichen Ungleichheiten sind über die letzten 40 Jahre in vielen Industrieländern markant angestiegen. Da Vermögen in der Regel noch stärker ungleich verteilt sind als Einkommen wird heute die Besteuerung von Vermögen diskutiert. Bisher weiss man jedoch kaum, ob Haushalte mit einer Veränderung ihres Verhaltens auf die Einführung von Vermögenssteuern reagieren würden. Mit diesem Projekt versuchen wir solche dynamischen Verhaltenseffekte mittels detaillierter Steuerdaten aus die Schweiz zu quantifizieren.
Lay summary

Die Schweiz ist das OECD-Land mit der anteilsmässig bedeutendsten Vermögenssteuer. Unser föderaler Staatsaufbau führt zu einer grossen Vielfalt von Steuersystemen auf kleinem Raum. Die Steuerbelastung von Vermögen unterscheidet sich deshalb stark in den 26 Kantone und gegen 2’5000 Gemeinden. Aus diesen Gründen bildet die Schweiz ein weltweit einzigartiges „Labor“ für die Untersuchung der Wirkung von Vermögenssteuern.

In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir die Wirkung von Vermögenssteuern in zwei komplementären Datensätzen mit ökonometrischen Methoden. Erstens verwenden wir öffentlich zugängliche Daten zur Summe der steuerbaren Privatvermögen in den Kanton für die Jahre 2003 bis 2012. Dies erlaubt die Schätzung der Wirkung von kantonalen Steuersätzen mit Methoden der Paneldatenanalyse. Zweitens verwenden wir vertrauliche Steuer-Einzeldaten des Kantons Bern für den Zeitraum 2001-2011. Dieser Datensatz umfasst 6,8 Millionen Beobachtungen auf Stufe Steuerzahler und Jahr, die eine gezielte Analyse von unterschiedlichen Reaktionsformen erlaubt wie beispielsweise Umzüge in steuergünstigere Gemeinden und Kantone. Die Kombination beider Datenquellen ermöglicht die Einbeziehung weiterer Einflussfaktoren der Vermögensbildung wie Einkommenssteuern, Erbschaftssteuern oder Immobiliensteuern. Mittels detaillierter Informationen über die kantonalen Steuergesetze können wir die Wirkungen von Veränderungen bei Grenz- und Durschschnittssteuersätzen gesondert analysieren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.11.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Jonathan Gruber, MIT Economics United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
75th Annual Congress of the IIPF Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 23.08.2019 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Schmidheiny Kurt;
Lunch Seminar Public Policy Group, ETHZ Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 12.08.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Schmidheiny Kurt;
External Seminar Groupe d’Analyse et de Théorie Economique, CNRS GATE Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 17.06.2019 Lyon, France Schmidheiny Kurt;
CESifo Area Conference Public Sector Economics Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 30.03.2019 Munich, Germany Schmidheiny Kurt;
Forschungskolloquium Universit ät Konstanz Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 05.01.2019 Konstanz, Germany Schmidheiny Kurt;
Applied Economics and Econometrics Seminar at University of Mannheim Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 21.11.2018 Mannheim, Germany Schmidheiny Kurt;
32nd Annual Congress of the European Economic Association Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 23.08.2017 Lisbon, Portugal Krapf Matthias;
73rd Annual Congress of the IIPF Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 18.08.2017 Tokyo, Japan Krapf Matthias;
France Strategie Workshop on "Fiscalite du patrimoine et de la transmission en Europe" Talk given at a conference How Do Taxpayers Respond to Wealth Taxes? 27.06.2017 Paris, France Brülhart Marius;
CESifo Venice Summer Institute, Fiscal Competition and Mobility: Theory and Empirics Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 17.06.2017 Venice, Italy Krapf Matthias;
IEB Workshop on Economics of Taxation Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 14.06.2017 Barcelona, Spain Krapf Matthias;
RIDGE Workshop on Public Economics Talk given at a conference The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 25.05.2017 Montevideo, Uruguay Krapf Matthias;
Seminar Series in Economics and Finance at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 23.03.2017 Milan, Italy Schmidheiny Kurt;
IEB Seminar Seminar at Universitat de Barcelona Individual talk The Elasticity of Taxable Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland 28.02.2017 Barcelona, Spain Krapf Matthias;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Taxpayers Seek Strategies to Avoid Wealth Tax, ifo DICE Report 16 (2), 2018, 19–21 International 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
130648 The Swiss Confederation: A Natural Laboratory for Research on Fiscal and Political Decentralization 01.10.2010 Sinergia
147668 The Swiss Confederation: A Natural Laboratory for Research on Fiscal and Political Decentralization 01.01.2014 Sinergia

Abstract

The rise in inequality seen in many developed nations over the past 40 years has recently spurred renewed interest in the taxation of wealth. Surprisingly, there exists as yet very little robust empirical evidence on individual taxpayers' responses to changes in the taxation of wealth. This project seeks to fill this gap by studying behavioral responses to wealth tax changes across space and time in Switzerland. Switzerland is the OECD country with the highest level of wealth taxation, and its fiscally decentralized political system leads to substantial variation in wealth tax rates across 26 cantons as well as across roughly 2,500 municipalities. We propose to study behavioral responses in two different datasets: first, yearly aggregate data for the whole of Switzerland since 2003 on total wealth and number of taxpayers by canton and wealth interval; second, confidential administrative data on all individual tax records for the canton of Bern from 2001 to 2011 (6.8 million taxpayer-year observations). The individual data record individual taxpayers' wealth composition over time and allow us to follow them across municipalities and cantons if they move. This should make it possible to decompose the aggregate elasticity of taxable wealth into an effect from changes in wealth accumulation by stayers and an effect due to migration. Individual data also allow us to control relatively accurately for the effect of other tax instruments such as income, property and bequest taxes, and they will enable us to use instrumental-variable techniques to identify the causal effect of (average and marginal) wealth tax rates on wealth accumulation and household location choices.
-