Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Owen Zidar (Princeton) presents The Tax Elasticity of Capital Gains and Revenue-Maximizing Rates (with Ole Agersnap (Princeton)) virtually at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:
This paper uses an event study approach to estimate the effect of capital gains taxation on realizations at the state level, and then develops a framework for determining revenue-maximizing rates at the federal level. We find that the elasticity of revenues with respect to the tax rate over a ten-year period is -0.5 to -0.3, indicating that capital gains tax cuts do not pay for themselves, and that a 5 percentage point rate increase would yield $18 to $30 billion in annual federal tax revenue. Our long-run estimates yield revenue-maximizing capital gains tax rates of 38 to 47 percent.