讲座主题：Understanding Misreporting： Responses to a Housing Transaction Tax Notch in China
内容摘要：In China, for second-handhousing transactions, a business tax is levied on reported housing transactionprices once prices are above a certain threshold. Under an environment withweak enforcement, reported prices could deviate from true prices in response tothe tax notch, creating an incentive for misreporting. We obtain from a largereal estate broker company a unique dataset that includes both true andreported prices of second-hand housing transactions in Shanghai, which allowsus to directly study the misreporting behavior. A simple tax evasion modelpredicts a novel three-segment misreporting pattern against true prices: nomisreporting for houses with true prices below the notch; reported prices equalthe notch value for true prices in a certain range above the notch;underreporting is largely constant for true prices well above the notch. Theempirical misreporting pattern is remarkably consistent with theoreticalpredictions. In addition, we explore how various factors may affect themisreporting pattern both theoretically and empirically. These factors includetax rate, housing loans, and a policy that imperfectly curbs evasion by settinga lower bound for misreporting. Potential alternative forms of the misreportingcost function are explicitly discussed and tested using data.