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State and Federal Tax Equity: Estimates Before and After the Tax Reform Act of 1986

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Author Info

  • Berliant, M.C.
  • Strauss, R.P.

Abstract

The progressivity and equity of both state and federal individual income taxes, as well as the combined system of both taxes, are examined before and after the federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 using a variety of measures applied to federal Statistics of Income individual income tax data; state taxes are calculated using TAXSIM. Our findings are as follows: First, in both 1985 and 1987, state personal income taxes were generally less progressive and more horizontally equitable than the federal system. Second, in moving from 1985 to 1987, state personal income tax systems generally displayed decreased progressivity and horizontal inequity. The combination of the two systems displayed generally lower progressivity and horizontal equity scores when we compare 1987 to 1985. Last, the after-tax income distribution became more unequal when we compared 1987 to 1985.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 297.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:297

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Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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Keywords: tax policy ; income;

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References

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  1. Mervyn A. King, 1983. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kondor, Yaakov, 1975. "Value Judgements Implied by the Use of Various Measures of Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 21(3), pages 309-21, September.
  3. Ebert, Udo, 1987. "Size and distribution of incomes as determinants of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 23-33, February.
  4. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
  5. Jenkins, S., 1988. "Empirical Measurement Of Horizontal Inequity," Papers 169, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  6. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1980. "A Theoretical Treatment of Indices of Absolute Inequality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 107-36, February.
  7. Fields, Gary S & Fei, John C H, 1978. "On Inequality Comparisons," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 303-16, March.
  8. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  9. King, Mervyn A, 1983. "An Index of Inequality: With Applications to Horizontal Equity and Social Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 99-115, January.
  10. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel H. Cooper & Byron F. Lutz & Michael G. Palumbo, 2011. "Quantifying the role of federal and state taxes in mitigating income inequality," Public Policy Discussion Paper 11-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Daniel H. Cooper & Byron F. Lutz & Michael G. Palumbo, 2012. "Quantifying the role of federal and state taxes in mitigating wage inequality," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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