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Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?

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  • Emmanuel Saez

Abstract

This paper uses tax return data to analyze bunching at the kink points of the US income tax schedule. We estimate the compensated elasticity of reported income with respect to (one minus) the marginal tax rate using bunching evidence. We find clear evidence of bunching around the first kink point of the Earned Income Tax Credit but concentrated solely among the self-employed. A simple tax evasion model can account for those results. We find evidence of bunching at the threshold of the first income tax bracket where tax liability starts but no evidence of bunching at any other kink point. (JEL H23, H24, H26)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 180-212

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:180-212

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.3.180
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  8. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
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