PhD student Mariona Mas awarded funding for doctoral research on behavioural responses to wealth taxation


The Universitat de Barcelona School of Economics and Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) Mariona Mas has been awarded a PhD scholarship by Banc Sabadell Foundation. This funding will allow her to continue her research project “Identifying and Estimating Behavioural Responses to Wealth Taxation”.

The project was motivated by the increasing debate on the appropriateness of wealth taxation and the lack of convincing empirical evidence on its effect on taxpayer’s behavior. The objective is to study how individuals reacted to the re-introduction of the Spanish wealth tax in 2011 and examine whether they reorganised their wealth composition in order to benefit from the exemptions and reliefs contemplated in the Wealth Tax Law.

Preliminary results suggest evasive rather than real responses. Initial estimations indicate that taxpayers with higher tax rates adopted avoidance strategies which mainly consist on moving assets from taxable to non-taxable wealth. Such conclusion would have relevant policy implications, not only in terms of revenues but also because it undermines the redistributive role of the tax.

The Banc Sabadell Foundation scholarship is aimed at funding research, research periods in national and foreign universities and research centres and other activities related to the doctoral thesis. For 2017, Banc Sabadell Foundation awarded 15 predoctoral scholarships, known as ‘Ayudas a la Investigación 2017’.

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