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The Elasticity of Taxable Income over the 1980s and 1990s

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  • Giertz, Seth H.

Abstract

Taxable (and broad) income elasticities are estimated using tax return data from 1979 to 2001. Data from the Continuous Work History Survey (CWHS) yield an estimated taxable income elasticity for the 1990s that is about half the corresponding 1980s estimate. Estimates from the full Statistics of Income, which heavily oversamples high–income filers, generally confirm the CWHS results. More sophisticated income control brings the estimates for the two decades closer together—to 0.40 for the 1980s and 0.26 for the 1990s. Work by Kopczuk (2005) implies that the narrowing of the tax base since 1986 could account for 14 to 29 percent of the remaining difference.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 60 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 743-68

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:60:y:2007:i:4:p:743-68

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  1. Austan Goolsbee, 1999. "Evidence on the High-Income Laffer Curve from Six Decades of Tax Reform," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 1-64.
  2. Imbens, G. & Lancaster, T., 1991. "Efficient estimation and stratified sampling," Discussion Paper 1991-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  4. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 1998. "Can state taxes redistribute income?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 369-396, June.
  6. Joel Slemrod & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2000. "The Optimal Elasticity of Taxable Income," NBER Working Papers 7922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Giertz, Seth, 2005. "A Sensitivity Analysis of the Elasticity of Taxable Income," MPRA Paper 17601, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Giertz, Seth, 2004. "Recent Literature on Taxable-Income Elasticities," MPRA Paper 16159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jon Bakija, 2006. "Documentation for a Comprehensive Historical U.S. Federal and State Income Tax Calculator Program," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-02, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Aug 2009.
  12. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
  13. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Postsecondary Education and Increasing Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 195-199, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Heim, Bradley T., 2010. "The responsiveness of self-employment income to tax rate changes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 940-950, December.
  2. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2013. "Measuring revenue responses to tax rate changes in multi-rate income tax systems: behavioural and structural factors," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 974-991, December.
  3. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
  4. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2008. "Hourly Wage Rate and Taxable Labor Income Responsiveness to Changes in Marginal Tax Rates," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Esben Anton Schultz, 2011. "Estimating Taxable Income Responses using Danish Tax Reforms," EPRU Working Paper Series 2011-02, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Singleton, Perry, 2011. "The Effect Of Taxes On Taxable Earnings: Evidence From The 2001 And Related U.S. Federal Tax Acts," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 323-51, June.
  7. John Deskins & William Fox, 2008. "Measuring Behavioral Responses to the Property Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0816, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Robert McClelland & Shannon Mok, 2012. "A Review of Recent Research on Labor Supply Elasticities: Working Paper 2012-12," Working Papers 43675, Congressional Budget Office.
  9. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2011. "Tax Rates and Revenue Changes: Behavioural and Structural Factors," Treasury Working Paper Series 11/05, New Zealand Treasury.
  10. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2012. "The Incentive Effects of Marginal Tax Rates: Evidence from the Interwar Era," NBER Working Papers 17860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2011. "Intranational Trade and Regional Tax Rates: A Welfare Analysis on the U.S. Economy," Working Papers 1106, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  12. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.

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