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The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1988 Tax Flattening in Canada

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  • Mary-Anne Sillamaa
  • Michael R. Veall

Abstract

Federal tax reform in 1988 flattened the Canadian personal income tax schedule, changing the marginal tax rates for many individuals. Using methods similar to those applied by Auten and Carroll (1999) in the study of the effects of the 1986 U.S. Tax Reform Act, we estimate the responsiveness of income to changes in taxes to be substantially smaller in Canada. However we find evidence of a much higher response in self-employment income, in the labour income of seniors and from those with high incomes.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap25.PDF
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 25.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:25

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Keywords: marginal tax rate effects on taxable income; tax avoidance;

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References

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  1. Emmanuel Saez, 1999. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Income: A Panel Study of 'Bracket Creep'," NBER Working Papers 7367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
  3. Joel Slemrod, 1995. "High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response," NBER Working Papers 5218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-72, June.
  7. Michael R. Veall, 1999. "Did Tax Flattening Affect RRSP Contributions?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports, McMaster University 342, McMaster University.
  8. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
  9. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Gerald Auten & Robert Carroll, 1999. "The Effect Of Income Taxes On Household Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 681-693, November.
  12. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach & Joel Slemrod, 1997. "The Economic Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 589-632, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2005. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2093-2119, December.
  2. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2008. "Hourly Wage Rate and Taxable Labor Income Responsiveness to Changes in Marginal Tax Rates," Working Paper Series, Uppsala University, Department of Economics 2008:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  4. Ericson, Peter & Flood, Lennart, 2011. "Taxes, Wages and Working Hours," IZA Discussion Papers 5930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Richard Bird & Michael Smart, 2001. "Tax Policy and Tax Research in Canada," The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, in: Patrick Grady & Andrew Sharpe (ed.), The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater, pages 59-78 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  6. Thomas Aronsson & James R. Walker, 2010. "Labor Supply, Tax Base and Public Policy in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 127-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
  8. Benczúr, Péter & Benedek, Dóra & Bakos, Péter, 2008. "Az adóköteles jövedelem rugalmassága. Becslés és egy egykulcsos adórendszerre vonatkozó számítás a 2005. évi magyar adóváltozások alapján
    [The elasticity of taxable income: estimate
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 733-762.
  9. Magnus Henrekson & Tino Sanandaji, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and the theory of taxation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 167-185, September.
  10. Jack M. Mintz, 2007. "2007 Tax Competitiveness Report: A Call for Comprehensive Tax Reform," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 254, September.
  11. Li, Xin & Guh, Daphne & Lacaille, Diane & Esdaile, John & Anis, Aslam H., 2007. "The impact of cost sharing of prescription drug expenditures on health care utilization by the elderly: Own- and cross-price elasticities," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 340-347, August.

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