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Did the 2001 Tax Rebate Stimulate Spending? Evidence from Taxpayer Surveys

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17

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  • Matthew D. Shapiro
  • Joel Slemrod

Abstract

In 2001, many households received rebate checks as advanced payments of the benefit of the new, 10 percent federal income tax bracket. A survey conducted at the time the rebates were mailed finds that few households said that the rebate led them mostly to increase spending. A follow-up survey in 2002, as well as a similar survey conducted after the attacks of 9/11, also indicates low spending rates. This paper investigates the robustness of these survey responses and assesses whether such surveys are useful for policy evaluation. It also draws lessons from the surveys for macroeconomic analysis of the tax rebate.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:

  • James Poterba, 2003. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote03-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11535.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11535

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    References

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    1. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2001. "Consumer Response to Tax Rebates," NBER Working Papers 8672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending," NBER Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. William G. Gale & John Sabelhaus, 1999. "Perspectives on the Household Saving Rate," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 181-224.
    4. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 1995. "Consumer Response to the Timing of Income: Evidence from a Change in Tax Withholding," NBER Working Papers 4344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Martin Weder, 2010. "Fiskalpolitik als antizyklisches Instrument? Eine Betrachtung der Schweiz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(2), pages 146-177, 05.
    2. Reuven Avi-Yonah, . "The Pitfalls of International Integration: A Comment on the Bush Proposal and Its Aftermath," University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics Working Paper Series umichlwps-1007, University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics.
    3. Échevin, Damien, 2009. "Ricardian or Spender Consumers? Evidence from a Taxpayer Survey Questionnaire," MPRA Paper 19496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Georg Fahrenschon & Clemens Fuest & Ralph Brügelmann & Willi Diez, 2009. "Konsumgutscheine, Steuer- und Zinssenkungen, Hilfspaket für die Automobilbranche: Sind das geeignete Mittel gegen die Rezession?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 62(01), pages 03-15, 01.
    5. Michael Kumhof & Douglas Laxton, 2009. "Simple, Implementable Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Working Papers 09/76, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Kenneth Lewis & Laurence Seidman, 2006. "Overcoming the Zero Interest-Rate Bound: A Quantitative Prescription," Working Papers 06-14, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    7. Chambers, Valrie & Spencer, Marilyn, 2008. "Does changing the timing of a yearly individual tax refund change the amount spent vs. saved?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 856-862, December.
    8. Thomas Bishop & Cheolbeom Park, 2010. "Borrowing Constraints, the Marginal Propensity to Consume, and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy," Discussion Paper Series 1008, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    9. Sumit Agarwal & Dan Aaronson & Eric French, 2008. "The Consumption Response to Minimum Wage Hikes," 2008 Meeting Papers 379, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Norbert Michel & Nazneen Ahmad, 2012. "Consumer response to child tax credit," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1199-1214, December.
    11. Sumit Agarwal & Leslie McGranahan, 2012. "Spending responses to state sales tax holidays," Working Paper Series WP-2012-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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