Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Can Redistributive State Taxes Reduce Inequality?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

Do income taxes levied at a state or regional level affect the after-tax distribution of income? Or do workers merely move between regions, causing pre-tax wages to adjust? This question is relevant both in across states in the United States, and across countries within the European Union. Using the full income tax parameters for all US states from 1977-2002, I create a “simulated tax redistribution index”, which captures the mechanical impact of the changes in tax policy on the gini coefficient, but is exogenous to any behavioral response. Analyzing the effect of this redistribution index on inequality, I find that gross wages do not adjust so as to fully offset the effect of more redistributive taxes. Exploring the adjustment process further, I create a new class of tax redistribution measures, based on the S-Gini, which differentially weight effects at the bottom and top of the distribution, and conclude that neither taxes that particularly affect the rich or the poor seem to affect the distribution of wages. Redistributive taxes do not appear to affect interstate migration or total state personal income. From a political economy perspective, I also find some evidence that more inequality leads states to implement more redistributive taxes, which may help explain why earlier studies observed a positive relationship between redistribution and inequality.

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://cbe.anu.edu.au/research/papers/ceprdpapers/DP490.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify ()
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 490.

as in new window
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:490

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Canberra, ACT 0200
Phone: +61 2 6125 3807
Fax: +61 2 6125 0744
Email:
Web page: http://rse.anu.edu.au/cepr.php
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: taxation; redistribution; progressivity; inequality; income distribution; Gini index; S-Gini index; interstate migration;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Martin Feldstein & Marian Vaillant, 1994. "Can State Taxes Redistribute Income?," NBER Working Papers 4785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  3. Jon Bakija & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Do the Rich Flee from High State Taxes? Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 10645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Leigh Andrew, 2010. "Who Benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit? Incidence among Recipients, Coworkers and Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-43, May.
  5. Joshua L. Rosenbloom & William A. Sundstrom, 2003. "The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990," NBER Working Papers 9857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  7. Ričardas Zitikis & Joseph L. Gastwirth, 2002. "The Asymptotic Distribution of the S-Gini Index," Australian & New Zealand Journal of Statistics, Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc., vol. 44(4), pages 439-446, December.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1980. "A single-parameter generalization of the Gini indices of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-86, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Estimating the Impact of Gubernatorial Partisanship on Policy Settings and Economic Outcomes: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 556, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Roc Armenter & Francesc Ortega, 2007. "Credible redistributive policies and migration across US States," Economics Working Papers 1022, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Ian Davidoff & Andrew Leigh, 2013. "How Do Stamp Duties Affect the Housing Market?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(286), pages 396-410, 09.
  4. Giertz, Seth H. & Tosun, Mehmet S., 2012. "Migration Elasticities, Fiscal Federalism and the Ability of States to Redistribute Income," IZA Discussion Papers 6798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Immervoll, Herwig & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2013. "Partisan Tax Policy and Income Inequality in the U.S., 1979-2007," IZA Discussion Papers 7190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "What’s the Difference Between a Donkey and an Elephant? Using Panel Data from US States to Estimate the Impact of Partisanship on Policy Settings and Economic Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 504, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Immervoll, Herwig & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2011. "Tax Policy and Income Inequality in the U.S., 1978-2009: A Decomposition Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 5910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jeffrey Thompson, 2011. "The Impact of Taxes on Migration in New England," Published Studies migration_peri_april13, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  9. Jeffrey Thompson, 2011. "Costly Migration and the Incidence of State and Local Taxes," Working Papers wp251, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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:auu:dpaper:490. 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.