NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Taxation, Risk-Taking, and Household Portfolio Behavior

James M. Poterba

NBER Working Paper No. 8340
Issued in June 2001
NBER Program(s):   AP   PE

This paper summarizes the current state of research on how taxation affects household decisions with respect to portfolio structure and asset trading. It discusses long-standing issues, such as the impact of differential taxation of income flows from stocks and bonds on the incentives for households to invest in these assets, and the effect of capital gains taxation on asset sales. It also addresses a range of emerging issues, such as the impact of taxation on the behavior of mutual funds and their investors, and the effect of tax changes and tax uncertainty on investor behavior. It concludes that taxation exerts a systematic influence on the nature of risk-taking and the structure of household portfolios. Research on the effects of taxation on portfolio structure is more advanced than work on the welfare costs of portfolio distortions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8340

Published: Poterba, James M., 2002. "Taxation, risk-taking, and household portfolio behavior," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 1109-1171 Elsevier.

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