The effect of tax-based savings incentives on government revenue
There is an unresolved debate on the effect of tax-based savings incentives on government revenue. The conventional wisdom on tax-assisted saving plans (TASPs) holds that they reduce public savings, but may raise national savings by stimulating private savings. Feldstein (1995) has challenged the view that TASPs reduce government revenue. According to Feldstein, ‘some of the increase in personal saving raises the corporate capital stock, and the return on this additional capital raises corporate tax payments’. When the additional corporate income tax revenue is taken into account, ‘the revenue loss associated with IRAs [Individual Retirement Accounts] either is much smaller than has generally been estimated or is actually a revenue gain’. This paper extends Feldstein’s analysis to incorporate international considerations,differences in tax structures and alternative values for key parameters. We show that the result presented by Feldstein represents a special case that does not lead to broad generalisations. We also show that, under most conditions, the tenets of conventional wisdom that TASPs reduce government revenue are likely to hold, but that the magnitude of the effect may not be large. Finally, we suggest that the focus of research on the savings effects of TASPs is justifiable in a closed economy, where domestic savings affect domestic investment, but is not useful for policy development in small open economies.
Volume (Year): 18 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
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.:
- Gale, William G & Scholz, John Karl, 1994.
"IRAs and Household Saving,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1233-1260, December.
- Gale, W.G. & Scholz, J.K., 1990. "Ira'S And Households Saving," Papers 16, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
- Gale, W.G. & scholz, J.K., 1992. "IRAS and Household Saving," Papers 9244, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Gale, W.G. & Scholz, J.K., 1990. "Iras And Household Savings," Working papers 9009, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Christopher Ragan, 1994. "Progressive Income Taxes and the Substitution Effect of RRSPs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 43-57, February.
- David A. Wise, 1987. "Individual Retirement Accounts and Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 3-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Randolph, William C. & Rogers, Diane Lim, 1995. "The Implications for Tax Policy of Uncertainty About Labor-Supply and Savings Responses," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 429-446, September.
- Murphy, Robert G., 1984. "Capital mobility and the relationship between saving and investment rates in OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 327-342, December.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53540, April.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 73-90, Fall.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
- Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," NBER Working Papers 2217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
- Jane G. Gravelle, 1991. "Do Individual Retirement Accounts Increase Savings?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-148, Spring.
- Martin Feldstein, 1995. "The Effects of Tax-Based Saving Incentives on Government Revenue and National Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 475-494. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:18:y:1997:i:2:p:143-159. 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: (Emma Hyman)
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.