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Tax Burden and the Mismeasurement of State Tax Policy

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  • W. Robert Reed

    (Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma)

  • Cynthia L. Rogers

    (Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma)

Abstract

Tax Burden, defined as the ratio of total tax revenues over personal income, is prominently used to summarize state tax policy. We analyze the empirical relationship between changes in Tax Burden and changes in state tax policy from 1987 to 2000 – as measured by states’ own forecasts of the revenue impacts of tax legislation – and find that Tax Burden contains substantial measurement error. We explain this result by decomposing Tax Burden changes into three components: (1) changes in state tax policy, (2) income-induced changes in revenue that are unrelated to state tax policy, and (3) other factors that do not measure state tax policy. We empirically demonstrate the statistical significance of the second component, highlighting important consequences for studies that estimate the impact of taxes on economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0505001.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 03 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0505001

Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 38
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Tax Policy; Fiscal Policy; Tax Burden; State Economic Development; Tax Rates;

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References

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  1. Feenberg, Daniel R, et al, 1989. "Testing the Rationality of State Revenue Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 300-308, May.
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  17. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
  18. Michael A. Nelson, 2000. "Electoral Cycles and the Politics of State Tax Policy," Public Finance Review, , vol. 28(6), pages 540-560, November.
  19. Koester, Reinhard B & Kormendi, Roger C, 1989. "Taxation, Aggregate Activity and Economic Growth: Cross-Country Evidence on Some Supply-Side Hypotheses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(3), pages 367-86, July.
  20. Reed, W. Robert & Rogers, Cynthia L., 2003. "A study of quasi-experimental control group methods for estimating policy impacts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-25, January.
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  22. Helms, L Jay, 1985. "The Effect of State and Local Taxes on Economic Growth: A Time Series-Cross Section Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 574-82, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Rogers, Cynthia L. & Wu, Chen, 2012. "Employment by foreign firms in the U.S.: Do state incentives matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 664-680.
  2. W. Robert Reed & Cynthia L. Rogers & Mark Skidmore, 2008. "On Estimating Marginal Tax Rates and Tax Progressivities for U.S. States," Working Papers in Economics 08/17, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.

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