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Lifecycle vs. Annual Perspectives on the Incidence of A Value Added Tax

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  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

Abstract

This paper analyzes the steady state distribution of tax burdens of a Value Added Tax (VAT) in the United States using a lifetime perspective. In contrast to an annual snapshot perspective, I find that a VAT on total expenditures would be proportional over the lifetime. Various modifications to the VAT (zero rating necessities or giving lump sum household rebates) would increase the progressivity of the tax substantially. However, the additional progressivity comes at the cost of substantial tax revenue.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4619.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4619.

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Date of creation: Jan 1994
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Publication status: published as Tax Policy and the Economy, vol. 8, ed. James M. Poterba, MIT Press, 1994
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4619

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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 263-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
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Cited by:
  1. Barbora Slintáková & Stanislav Klazar, 2010. "Impact of Harmonisation on Distribution of VAT in the Czech Republic," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(2), pages 133-149.
  2. Glenn P. Jenkins & Hatice Jenkins & Chun-Yan Kuo, 2006. "Is the Value Added Tax Naturally Progressive?," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1059, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. William G. Gale & Samuel Brown, 2013. "Tax Reform for Growth, Equity, and Revenue," Public Finance Review, , , vol. 41(6), pages 721-754, November.

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