Behavioral Responses to the Norwegian Wealth Tax
Øyvind Bruer-Skarsbø, OFS Scholarship Recipients 2014
The effects of the wealth tax have been an endless source of debate in Norway. Those in favor of it claim that it has important distributional properties, while those who want to abolish it usually make their claim on efficiency grounds. A frequently used argument against the taxation of wealth has been that it discourages private savings. This thesis uses two empirical strategies to investigate this claim. A regression discontinuity design is applied to the tax bracket cutoff in 2011, and a differences-in-differences approach is applied to the change in allowance in 2010. While the results from the two strategies point in somewhat opposite directions, it does not support the claim that the Norwegian wealth tax discourages savings.