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

Do Very High Tax Rates Induce Bunching? Implications for the Design of Income-Contingent Loan Schemes

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bruce Chapman

    ()
    (CEPR, RSSS, ANU)

  • Andrew Leigh

    ()
    (SPEAR Centre, RSSS, ANU)

Abstract

We test whether very high marginal tax rates affect taxpayer behaviour, using a unique policy. Under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme – an income-related university loans scheme in Australia – former students with a debt face a sharp discontinuity. At the first repayment threshold they are required to repay a percentage of their entire income, resulting in an effective marginal tax rate that could be regarded as being as high as 76,000 percent. We formally model the taxpayer decision, and then use a sample of taxpayer returns provided to us by the tax office to investigate whether taxpayers bunch below the repayment threshold. We find a statistically significant degree of bunching below the threshold, but the effect is economically small. On net, we estimate that both the deadweight cost and the budgetary loss are less than A$1 million per year, a small fraction of the amount annually repaid through the Higher Education Contribution Scheme. The result has an important implication for the design of income contingent loans for higher education, such as those being introduced in the UK for tuition in September 2006. This is that it is possible to design arrangements in which the first income threshold of repayment is apparently high, but which are still able to deliver relatively high revenue streams in the early stages of income contingent policy reform without important tax payment avoidance consequences. Our findings also reinforce earlier research suggesting only minimal bunching around kink points in taxation schedules.

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/DP521.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 521.

as in new window
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:521

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: bunching; marginal tax rates; responses to taxation; income-related loans;

Other versions of this item:

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. Leora Friedberg, 2000. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
  2. Hilary Hoynes & Richard Blundell, 2001. "Has "In-Work" Benefit Reform Helped the Labour Market?," NBER Working Papers 8546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Braithwaite, Valerie & Ahmed, Eliza, 2005. "A threat to tax morale: The case of Australian higher education policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 523-540, August.
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. Stavrunova, Olena & Yerokhin, Oleg, 2014. "Tax incentives and the demand for private health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 121-130.
  2. Blomquist, Sören & Simula, Laurent, 2010. "Marginal Deadweight Loss when the Income Tax is Nonlinear," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Bruce Chapman & Tim Higgins, 2009. "Income Contingent Loans for Paid Parental Leave," CEPR Discussion Papers 596, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Bruce Chapman & Mathias Sinning, 2010. "Student Loan Reforms for German Higher Education: Financing Tuition Fees," CEPR Discussion Papers 646, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Bruce Chapman & Kiatanantha Lounkaew, 2008. "Income Contingent Student Loans for Thailand : Alternatives Compared," EABER Working Papers 21950, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  6. Del Rey, Elena & Racionero, María, 2010. "Financing schemes for higher education," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 104-113, March.

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:521. 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.