E-ZTax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates
AbstractThis paper tests the hypothesis that the salience of a tax system affects equilibrium tax rates. To do this, I analyze how toll rates change after toll facilities adopt electronic toll collection. Unlike manual toll collection, in which the driver must hand over cash at the toll collection plaza, electronic toll collection automatically debits the toll amount as the car drives through the toll plaza, thereby plausibly decreasing the salience of the toll. I find robust evidence that toll rates increase following the adoption of electronic toll collection. My estimates suggest that, in steady state, toll rates are 20 to 40 percent higher than they would have been without electronic toll collection. Consistent with the hypothesis that decreased tax salience is responsible for the increase in toll rates, I also find evidence that the short run elasticity of driving with respect to the actual toll declines (in absolute value) following the adoption of electronic toll collection. I consider a variety of alternative explanations for these results and conclude that these are unlikely to be able to explain the findings.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12924.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Systems - - - Government Pricing and Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2007-02-24 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2007-02-24 (Public Finance)
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.:
- David Sappington & J. Sidak, 2003. "Incentives for Anticompetitive Behavior by Public Enterprises," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 183-206, May.
- Christopher Timmins, 2002. "Measuring the Dynamic Efficiency Costs of Regulators' Preferences: Municipal Water Utilities in the Arid West," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 603-629, March.
- Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998.
"Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
144, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Dollery, Brian E & Worthington, Andrew C, 1996. " The Empirical Analysis of Fiscal Illusion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 261-97, September.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983.
"A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model,"
NBER Working Papers
0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
- Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980.
"The Power to Tax,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, October.
- Friedman, Milton, 1998. "Two Lucky People," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226264141, January.
- Hau, Timothy D., 1992. "Congestion charging mechanisms for roads : an evaluation of current practice," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1071, The World Bank.
- Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," NBER Working Papers 11234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kearney, Melissa Schettini, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(2), pages 281-302, June Cita.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009.
"Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-77, September.
- Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and taxation: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- David Levinson & Andrew Odlyzko, 2007. "Too Expensive to Meter: The influence of transaction costs in transportation and communication," Working Papers 200802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group, revised Feb 2007.
- Almenberg, Johan & Karapetyan, Artashes, 2009.
"Mental Accounting in the Housing Market,"
Working Paper Series
798, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Johan Almenberg & Artashes Karapetyan, 2009. "Mental accounting in the housing market," IEW - Working Papers 453, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Almenberg, Johan & Karapetyan, Artashes, 2009. "Mental Accounting in the Housing Market," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 718, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 18 Aug 2010.
- Johan Almenberg & Artashes Karapetyan, 2010. "Mental accounting in the housing market," Working Paper 2010/20, Norges Bank.
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006.
"Born on the First of July: An (Un)natural Experiment in Birth Timing,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
529, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
- Gilbert Metcalf & David Weisbach, 2008.
"The Design of a Carbon Tax,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0728, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Metcalf, Gilbert & Weisbach, David, 2009. "The Design of a Carbon Tax," Working paper 142, Regulation2point0.
- Gilbert Metcalf & David Weisbach, 2008. "The Design of a Carbon Tax," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0727, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Michael D. Grubb & Paul Oyer, 2008. "Who Benefits from Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefits?: Evidence from University Parking," NBER Working Papers 14062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hui Shan, 2008.
"Property taxes and elderly mobility,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2008-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.