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Reduced Tax Progressivity in Norway in the Nineties: The Effect from Tax Changes

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  • Thor O. Thoresen

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    Abstract

    The inequality in pre-tax income increased in Norway in the 1990s, while the concentration of taxes remained largely unaltered. This means that tax progressivity has decreased in the period, as measured by summary indices of tax progressivity. In this paper I analyze individual income data to ascertain whether tax changes in the period can explain the observed decrease in tax progressivity. As marginal tax rates at high income levels have been substantially reduced in the period, for instance through the tax reform of 1992, it is expected that tax changes may have influenced the degree of inequality in pre-tax incomes. This behavioral effect is examined by deriving estimates of the elasticity of gross income with respect to the net-of-tax rate, obtained from various panel data regressions. The tax changes may also have shifted the distributional burden of taxes for unaltered level of pre-tax income inequality. In order to identify this (direct) effect of tax-law alterations, the same fixed distribution of pre-tax income is exposed to various tax-laws in the period.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 4 (08)
    Pages: 487-506

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:11:y:2004:i:4:p:487-506

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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    Cited by:
    1. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2007. "Analysing the Effects of Tax-benefit Reforms on Income Distribution: A decomposition Approach," Papers WP197, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Thor Olav Thoresen & Annette Alstadsæter, 2008. "Shifts in Organizational Form under a Dual Income Tax System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2273, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Annette Alstadsæter & Knut Reidar Wangen, 2008. "Corporations’ Choice of Tax Regime when Transition Costs are Small and Income Shifting Potential is Large," CESifo Working Paper Series 2392, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The Distributional Effects of Tax-benefit Policies under New Labour - A Shapley Decomposition," Working Papers 200907, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    5. Annette Alstadsaeter, 2007. "The Achilles Heel of the Dual Income Tax: The Norwegian Case," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 5-22, Spring.
    6. Annette Alstadsæter & Erik Fjærli, 2009. "Neutral taxation of shareholder income? Corporate responses to an announced dividend tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 571-604, August.
    7. Olivier Bargain, 2012. "Decomposition analysis of distributive policies using behavioural simulations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 708-731, October.

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