Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Does It Pay, at the Margin, to Work and Save? Measuring Effective Marginal Taxes on Americans' Labor Supply and Saving

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21

Contents:

Author Info

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • David Rapson

Abstract

Building on Gokhale, Kotlikoff, and Sluchynsky's (2002) study of Americans' incentives to work full or part time, this paper uses ESPlanner, a life-cycle financial planning program, in conjunction with detailed modeling of transfer programs to determine a) total marginal net tax rates on current labor supply, b) total net marginal tax rates on life-cycle labor supply, c) total net marginal tax rates on saving, and d) the tax-arbitrage opportunities available from contributing to retirement accounts. In seeking to provide the most comprehensive analysis to date of fiscal incentives, the paper incorporates federal and state personal income taxes, the FICA payroll tax, federal and state corporate income taxes, federal and state sales and excise taxes, Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, Medicaid benefits, Foods Stamps, welfare (TAFCD) benefits, and other transfer program benefits. The paper offers four main takeaways. First, thanks to the incredible complexity of the U.S. fiscal system, it's impossible for anyone to understand her incentive to work, save, or contribute to retirement accounts absent highly advanced computer technology and software. Second, the U.S. fiscal system provides most households with very strong reasons to limit their labor supply and saving. Third, the system offers very high-income young and middle aged households as well as most older households tremendous opportunities to arbitrage the tax system by contributing to retirement accounts. Fourth, the patterns by age and income of marginal net tax rates on earnings, marginal net tax rates on saving, and tax-arbitrage opportunities can be summarized with one word -- bizarre.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c0048.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • James Poterba, 2007. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote07-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0048.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0048

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Forbes, Kristin, 2002. "How Do Large Depreciations Affect Firm Performance?," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management 4379-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does It Pay to Work?," NBER Working Papers 9096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Ben Marx & Pietro Rizza, 2006. "Americans' Dependency on Social Security," NBER Working Papers 12696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Daniel Feenberg & James Poterba, 2003. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and Effective Marginal Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 10072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Diamond, P., 1994. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Exemple with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 94-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0048. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.