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Toward obtaining a consistent estimate of the elasticity of taxable income using difference-in-differences

Listed author(s):
  • Weber, Caroline E.

The elasticity of taxable income (ETI) is a central parameter for tax policy debates. This paper shows that mean reversion prevents most estimators employed in the literature from obtaining consistent estimates of the ETI. A new method is proposed that will resolve inconsistency due to mean reversion under testable assumptions regarding the degree of serial correlation in the error term. Using this procedure, I estimate an ETI of 0.858, which is about twice as large as the estimates found in the most frequently cited paper on this subject [13]. The corresponding elasticity of broad income is 0.475.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004727271400111X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 117 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 90-103

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:117:y:2014:i:c:p:90-103
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.05.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. 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.
  2. Seth H. Giertz, 2010. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income during the 1990s: New Estimates and Sensitivity Analyses," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 406-433, October.
  3. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
  4. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2010. "Hourly wage rate and taxable labor income responsiveness to changes in marginal tax rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 878-889, December.
  5. Singleton, Perry, 2011. "The Effect of Taxes on Taxable Earnings: Evidence From the 2001 and Related U.S. Federal Tax Acts," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 323-351, June.
  6. Holmlund, Bertil & Söderström, Martin, 2008. "Estimating dynamic income responses to tax reforms: Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2008:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, 05.
  8. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  9. Gerald Auten & Robert Carroll, 1999. "The Effect Of Income Taxes On Household Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 681-693, November.
  10. Alexander M. Gelber, 2014. "Taxation and the Earnings of Husbands and Wives: Evidence from Sweden," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 287-305, May.
  11. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2005. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2093-2119, December.
  12. Patrik Guggenberger & Gitanjali Kumar, 2012. "On the size distortion of tests after an overidentifying restrictions pretest," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1138-1160, November.
  13. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
  14. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  15. Saez, Emmanuel, 2003. "The effect of marginal tax rates on income: a panel study of 'bracket creep'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1231-1258, May.
  16. Joel Slemrod, 1996. "High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response," NBER Chapters,in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 169-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Reported Incomes and Marginal Tax Rates, 1960-2000: Evidence and Policy Implications," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 117-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Giertz, Seth, 2008. "Panel Data Techniques and the Elasticity of Taxable Income," MPRA Paper 17600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  20. Bakija, Jon & Heim, Bradley T., 2011. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond to Incentives and Income? New Estimates From Panel Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 615-650, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 68-73, March.
  23. Seth H. Giertz, 2008. "Panel Data Techniques and the Elasticity of Taxable Income: Working Paper 2008-11," Working Papers 20407, Congressional Budget Office.
  24. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
  25. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  26. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
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