NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Do Americans Want to Tax Capital? Evidence from Online Surveys

Raymond Fisman, Keith Gladstone, Ilyana Kuziemko, Suresh Naidu

NBER Working Paper No. 23907
Issued in October 2017
NBER Program(s):The Corporate Finance Program, The Labor Studies Program, The Public Economics Program, The Political Economy Program

A vast theoretical literature in public finance has studied the question of the desirability of capital taxation. Distinct from questions of the optimality of taxing wealth is whether it is politically feasible. We provide, to our knowledge, the first investigation of individuals' preferences over jointly taxing income and wealth, via a survey on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. We provide subjects with a set of hypothetical individuals' incomes and wealth and elicit subjects' preferred (absolute) tax bill for these individuals. Our method allows us to unobtrusively map both income earned and accumulated wealth into desired tax levels. Our regression results yield roughly linear desired tax rates on income of about 14 percent. Respondents' suggested tax rates indicate positive desired wealth taxation. When we distinguish between sources of wealth we find that, in line with recent theoretical arguments, subjects' implied tax rate on wealth is three percent when the source of wealth is inheritance, far higher than the 0.8 percent rate when wealth is from savings. We show these tax rates are consistent with reasonable parameterizations of recent theoretical optimal wealth tax formulae.

download in pdf format
   (626 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23907

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Persson w23823 Attention Manipulation and Information Overload
Angrist, Caldwell, and Hall w23891 Uber vs. Taxi: A Driver’s Eye View
Brülhart, Gruber, Krapf, and Schmidheiny w22376 Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland
Engen and Skinner w5826 Taxation and Economic Growth
Halac and Yared w23919 Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Self-Enforcement
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us