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Accounting for Income Changes over the Great Recession (2007-2010) Relative to Previous Recessions: The Importance of Taxes and Transfers

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  • Jeff Larrimore
  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Philip Armour

Abstract

With data from the March CPS and using shift-share analysis, we analyze the factors that account for changes in post-tax post-transfer income during each of the past four recessions. What distinguishes the Great Recession is that drops in employment rather than wage earnings drove income declines. In addition, taxes and transfers played a much greater role in offsetting market income losses —a result largely missed in analyses that do not account for taxes and transfers. This is particularly so among the bottom quintile of the distribution where lower and increased transfers offset more than one-half of the market income declines.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19699.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19699

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References

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  1. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2007. "Analysing the Effects of Tax-benefit Reforms on Income Distribution - A Decomposition Approach," Working Papers 200713, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Herwig Immervoll & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax policy and income inequality in the U.S., 1978—2009: A decomposition approach," Working Papers 215, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Jeff Larrimore & Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Laura Zayatz, 2008. "Consistent Cell Means for Topcoded Incomes in the Public Use March CPS (1976-2007)," NBER Working Papers 13941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mulligan, Casey B., 2012. "The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199942213, September.
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  9. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Larrimore, Jeff, 2009. "Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the USA: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Claire Keane & Michael Savage & John Walsh, 2014. "Crisis, response and distributional impact: the case of Ireland," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.

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