NBER

Marius Brülhart

Department of Economics
Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC)
University of Lausanne
1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

E-Mail: marius.brulhart@unil.ch
Institutional Affiliation: University of Lausanne

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2019The Shrinking Advantage of Market Potential
with Klaus Desmet, Gian-Paolo Klinke: w26526
How does a country's economic geography evolve along the development path? This paper documents recent employment growth in 18,961 regions in eight of the world's main economies. Overall, market potential is losing importance, and local density is gaining importance, as correlates of local growth. In mature economies, growth is strongest in low-market-potential areas. In emerging economies, the opposite is true, though the association with market potential is also weakening there. Structural transformation away from agriculture can account for some of the observed changes. The part left unexplained by structural transformation is consistent with a standard economic geography model that yields a bell-shaped relation between trade costs and the growth of centrally located regions.
June 2016Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland
with Jonathan Gruber, Matthias Krapf, Kurt Schmidheiny: w22376
We study the effects of wealth taxation on reported wealth. Our analysis is based on data for Switzerland, which has the highest rate of annual wealth taxation in the developed world. While the wealth tax base is defined at the federal level, tax rates vary considerably across locations and over time. We use aggregate data on wealth holdings by canton and individual-level data for the canton of Bern. Our estimated behavioral elasticities substantially exceed those of the taxable income literature. We also find that taxpayers bunch below the tax threshold, that observed responses are driven by changes in wealth holdings rather than mobility, and that financial wealth is somewhat more responsive than non-financial wealth.

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