Essays on Taxation and Real Estate
Hipsman, Nathaniel E.
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AbstractThis dissertation consists of three independent chapters. In the first chapter, "Optimal Taxation in Overlapping Generations Economies with Aggregate Risk," I ask how governments should leverage available policy instruments to raise revenue and share aggregate risk across generations. I analytically derive two new, opposing considerations in this setting, in addition to the classic desire to smooth distortions, and then consider numerical applications to three policy problems: financing of wars, intergenerational sharing of productivity risk, and intergenerational redistribution of trend productivity growth. The second chapter, "Race and Home Price Appreciation in the United States: 1992--2012," investigates the the extent to which home price appreciation is related to homeowner race. I link transaction-level data on home sale prices to mortgage application-level data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act on applicant demographics to answer this question. I find that black (Hispanic) homeowners experience appreciation that is 1 to 2.5 (0.5 to 1.5) percentage points lower than their white counterparts. In the third chapter, "The Effect of State Income Taxes on Home Values: Evidence from a Border Pair Study," I estimate the elasticity of home prices with respect to the net-of-state-income-tax rate using several variants of a border pair strategy. I find suggestive evidence that this elasticity is positive and large, but also discuss several concerns with drawing too strong a conclusion.
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