Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Does It Pay, At The Margin, To Work And Save? -- Measuring Effective Marginal Taxes On Americans' Labor Supply And Saving

Contents:

Author Info

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    ()
    (Boston University, Department of Economics and NBER)

  • David Rapson

    ()
    (Boston University, Department of Economics)

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.

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://people.bu.edu/kotlikoff/Does%20It%20Pay%20to%20Work%20and%20Save,%20December%209,2006.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2006-048.

as in new window
Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2006-048

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 270 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-444
Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/
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. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Poterba, James M., 2004. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and Effective Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 407-27, June Cita.
  2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does it pay to work?," Working Paper 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Laurence Kotlikoff & Ben Marx & Pietro Rizza, 2006. "Americans' Dependency on Social Security," Working Papers wp126, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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. Alexander Gelber & Matthew Weinzierl, 2012. "Equalizing Outcomes vs. Equalizing Opportunities: Optimal Taxation when Children's Abilities Depend on Parents' Resources," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-014, Harvard Business School.
  2. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2008. "Tax Salience, Voting, and Deliberation," Discussion Papers 08-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Maria I. Marika Santoro & Chao D. Wei, 2008. "Taxation and Asset Pricing in a Production Economy: Working Paper 2008-10," Working Papers 20412, Congressional Budget Office.
  4. Maria I. Marika Santoro & Chao D. Wei, 2008. "The Impact of Progressive Dividend Taxation on Investment Decisions: Working Paper 2008-03," Working Papers 19630, Congressional Budget Office.
  5. Timothy J. Bartik, 2013. "Social Costs of Jobs Lost Due to Environmental Regulations," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-193, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. Damon Jones, 2010. "Information, Preferences, and Public Benefit Participation: Experimental Evidence from the Advance EITC and 401(k) Savings," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 147-63, April.
  7. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2010. "Economic Theory and the World of Practice: A Celebration of the ( S, s ) Model," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 183-202, Winter.
  8. Sausgruber, Rupert & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Are we taxing ourselves?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 164-176.

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:bos:wpaper:wp2006-048. 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: (Courtney Sullivan).

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.