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Distributional Effects on a Lifetime Basis

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  • Don Fullerton
  • Diane Lim Rogers

Abstract

All government agencies charged with the responsibility of estimating distributional effects use annual income to classify households and one year's tax to characterize tax burdens. In this paper, we describe an alternative procedure to estimate lifetime tax burdens as proportions of lifetime income. To illustrate this model, we calculate lifetime effects of a uniform consumption tax and a wage tax. This kind of analysis can supplement existing annual analyses, since policymakers might want to insure both that current taxes reflect current ability to pay and that lifetime taxes reflect lifetime ability to pay.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4862.

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Date of creation: Sep 1994
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Publication status: published as Distributional Analysis of Tax Policy, ed. by David F. Bradford Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute Press, 1995, pp. 262-294.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4862

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  1. Andrew B. Lyon & Robert M. Schwab, 1991. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," NBER Working Papers 3932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James M. Poterba, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," NBER Working Papers 2833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
  6. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
  8. Davies, James B & St-Hilaire, France & Whalley, John, 1984. "Some Calculations of Lifetime Tax Incidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 633-49, September.
  9. Barthold, Thomas A., 1993. "How Should We Measure Distribution?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 291-99, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Don Fullerton & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2001. "Tax Incidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0106, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    • Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
  2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does it pay to work?," Working Paper 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Harry ter Rele, 2005. "Measuring lifetime redistribution in Dutch collective arrangements," CPB Document 79, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Nelissen, Jan H. M., 1998. "Annual versus lifetime income redistribution by social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 223-249, May.

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