Follow the Money! Combining Household and Firm-Level Evidence to Unravel the Tax Elasticity of Dividends
44 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 18, 2019
We estimate the tax elasticity of dividends using two recent French reforms: a hike in the dividend tax rate followed, five years later, by a cut. To follow the cash movements within the balance sheets of households and firms caused by these reforms, we use newly-accessible personal and corporate tax registries. Following the tax increase, the elasticity of dividends equals four and there is no shifting towards other personal income categories. We find instead an increase in companies’ spending. After the tax decrease, payouts revert to their initial level, but not enough to offset the amounts received during the high-tax period.
Keywords: Dividend tax; Intertemporal income shifting; Firm behavior
JEL Classification: G35, H24, O16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation