The effects of income taxation on entrepreneurial investment: A puzzle?


We investigate how personal income taxes affect the portfolio share of personal wealth that entrepreneurs invest in their own business. In a portfolio choice model that allows for tax sheltering, we show that lower tax rates may increase investment in entrepreneurial equity at the intensive margin, but decrease it at the extensive margin. Using German panel data, we identify tax effects on the portfolio shares of six asset classes by exploiting tax and entry regulation reforms. Our results indicate that lower taxes drive out businesses that are viable only due to tax sheltering, but increase investment in productive entrepreneurial businesses.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg who share the same research agenda.