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Bunching and non-bunching at kink points of the Swedish tax schedule

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  • Bastani, Spencer
  • Selin, Håkan

Abstract

Recent microeconometric studies of taxpayers' responsiveness to taxation have shown that intensive margin labor supply and earnings elasticities typically are modest and sometimes equal to zero. A common view is that long-run responses still might be large if micro-estimates are downward biased owing to optimization frictions. In this paper we estimate the taxable income elasticity at a very large kink point of the Swedish tax schedule using the bunching method. During the period of study the change in the log net-of-tax rate reached a maximum value of 45.6%. Interestingly, we obtain a precise elasticity estimate of zero for wage earners at this large kink. We also conclude by the means of numerical simulations that, even though the kink point we study is very large, income effects are unlikely to bias our estimates. The size of the kink allows us to derive tighter bounds on the long-run elasticity than previous studies. If wage earners on average tolerate 1% of their disposable income in optimization costs, the upper bound on the long-run compensated taxable income elasticity is 0.39.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 109 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 36-49

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:109:y:2014:i:c:p:36-49

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Bunching; Taxable income; Bounds; Optimization frictions; Income effects;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jacob, Martin & Alstadsæter, Annette, 2013. "Payout policies of privately held firms: Flexibility and the role of income taxes," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 152, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  2. Bastani, Spencer & Selin, Håkan, 2014. "Bunching and non-bunching at kink points of the Swedish tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 36-49.
  3. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2013. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting between tax bases: what is “real” and what is not?," Working Papers 1313, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  4. Daniel le Maire & Bertel Schjerningo, 2012. "Tax Bunching, Income Shifting and Self-employment," EPRU Working Paper Series 2012-04, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Mazhar Waseem, 2013. "Taxes, Informality and Income Shifting: Evidence from a Recent Pakistani Tax Reform," 2013 Papers pwa641, Job Market Papers.
  6. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80041, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Alstadsæter, Annette & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Who participates in tax avoidance?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 148, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  8. Almunia, Miguel & Lopez-Rodriguez, David, 2012. "The efficiency cost of tax enforcement: evidence from a panel of spanish firms," MPRA Paper 44153, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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