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The Elasticity of Taxable Income in New Zealand

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  • Iris Claus
  • John Creedy
  • Josh Teng

Abstract

This paper reports estimates of the elasticity of taxable income with respect to the net-of-tax rate for New Zealand taxpayers. The elasticity of taxable income was estimated to be substantially higher for the highest income groups. Generally it was higher for men than for women. Changes in the timing of income flows for the higher income recipients were found to be an important response to the announcement of a new higher-rate bracket. The marginal welfare costs of personal income taxation were consistent across years, being relatively small for all but the higher tax brackets. For the top marginal rate bracket of 39 per cent, the welfare cost of raising an extra dollar of tax revenue was estimated to be well in excess of a dollar. Furthermore, for the top bracket the marginal tax rate was often found to exceed the revenue-maximising tax rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1104.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1104

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Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 5th Floor, Economics and Commerce Building, Victoria, 3010, Australia
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Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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Keywords: Income taxation; Taxable income; Elasticity of taxable income; Excess;

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References

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  1. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2011. "Measuring welfare changes in behavioural microsimulation modelling: Accounting for the random utility component," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 5-34, May.
  2. Martin Feldstein, 1997. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the1986 Tax Reform Act," NBER Working Papers 4496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Creedy & Nicolas Herault & Guyonne Kalb, 2008. "Comparing Welfare Change Measures withIncome Change Measures in Behavioural Policy Simulations," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1030, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Giertz, Seth, 2004. "Recent Literature on Taxable-Income Elasticities," MPRA Paper 16159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Lindsey, Lawrence B., 1987. "Individual taxpayer response to tax cuts: 1982-1984 : With implications for the revenue maximizing tax rate," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-206, July.
  9. A. B. Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Top Incomes In New Zealand 1921-2005: Understanding The Effects Of Marginal Tax Rates, Migration Threat, And The Macroeconomy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(2), pages 149-165, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2011. "Tax Rates and Revenue Changes: Behavioural and Structural Factors," Treasury Working Paper Series 11/05, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Carey, Simon & Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman & Teng, Josh, 2012. "Regression Estimates of the Elasticity of Taxable Income and the Choice of Instrument," Working Paper Series 2429, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
  3. Creedy, John, 2013. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income, Welfare Changes and Optimal Tax Rates," Working Paper Series 2875, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
  4. John Creedy, 2013. "Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income in Multi-Rate Income Tax Structures," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/24, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2013. "Measuring revenue responses to tax rate changes in multi-rate income tax systems: behavioural and structural factors," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 974-991, December.

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