Do Taxes Matter? Lessons from the 1980's
The response of the economy to two major -- although in important respects offsetting -- tax reforms has been much smaller than ardent supply-side revolutionaries expected, thus suggesting that a reassessment of the grounds for revolt is in order. This paper offers such a reassessment by first discussing how the evidence from the tax reforms of 1981 and 1986 reflects on our understanding of the response to taxation -- with particular reference to savings and capital gains realizations. I then reconstruct a 1992 view about how taxes affect behavior. A unifying theme is that the tax system does much more than alter the relative prices of real variables -- it also provides incentives to misreport income, restructure financial claims, time transactions, change the legal form of organization, and so on. For this reason, observed low tax elasticities of real variables may be due to either low elasticities of substitution or the fact that tax policy changes opportunity sets in complex ways. Disentangling these explanations requires an emphasis on the transaction-based nature of the tax system and the administration and enforcement of tax laws.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 82 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin Feldstein & Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1981.
"The Effects of Taxation on the Selling of Corporate Stock and the Realization of Capital Gains,"
NBER Working Papers
0250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Feldstein & Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1980. "The Effects of Taxation on the Selling of Corporate Stock and the Realization of Capital Gains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 777-791.
- Martin Feldstein, 1983.
"Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence,"
in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 243-286
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldstein, Martin, 1982. "Inflation, Tax Rules and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 825-62, July.
- Martin Feldstein, 1980. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1987.
"Tax Deductibility and Municipal Budget Structure,"
NBER Working Papers
2224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joel Slemrod, 1989.
"Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems,"
NBER Working Papers
3038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "The Phillips curve," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, January.
- Hall, Robert E, 1988.
"Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
- Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Capital Gains Taxation in the United States: Realizations, Revenue, and Rhetoric," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 595-638.
- Gerald E. Auten & Charles T. Clotfelter, 1982. "Permanent versus Transitory Tax Effects and the Realization of Capital Gains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 613-632.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:82:y:1992:i:2:p:250-56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.