The Tax Elasticity of Capital Gains and Revenue-Maximizing Rates
AbstractThis paper uses a direct-projections 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 10-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.
CitationAgersnap, Ole, and Owen Zidar. 2021. "The Tax Elasticity of Capital Gains and Revenue-Maximizing Rates." American Economic Review: Insights, 3 (4): 399-416. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20200535
- E62 Fiscal Policy
- H25 Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
- H71 State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue