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Recent Literature on Taxable-Income Elasticities

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  • Giertz, Seth

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on taxable-income elasticities, focusing primarily on empirical studies examining the U.S. tax changes of 1981, 1986, 1990, and 1993 and the bracket creep of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The paper first provides background on the importance of the elasticity of taxable income both for forecasting income tax revenue and for assessing the efficiency implications of tax rate changes. It then discusses the major methodological issues and obstacles before delving into the literature. The paper emphasizes the different methodologies employed and the sensitivity of estimates to an array of factors, including sample selection, the tax reform under examination, and econometric techniques (or model specification). Although it recognizes advances in the literature in recent years, the paper concludes that responses to tax rate changes are far from fully understood and that there is much to be gained from continued research on this topic.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16159/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16159.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16159

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Related research

Keywords: taxable income; elasticity; tax revenue; efficiency;

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References

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  1. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
  3. Feenberg, D.R. & Poterba, J.M., 1992. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," Working papers 92-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James E. Long, 1999. "The Impact of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: Evidence from State Income Tax Differentials," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 855-869, April.
  6. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
  7. Robert A. Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 1998. "Taxation and the Labor Supply: Decisions of the Affluent," NBER Working Papers 6621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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