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Tax Deductions and the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation

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  • Ian Parry

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Abstract

Recent work emphasizes the efficiency costs of tax deductions that distort the pattern of household spending. Using evidence on the sensitivity of taxable income to tax rates, this work suggests that the marginal welfare cost (MWC) of income taxes in the United States could be dramatically higher because of tax deductions, and might exceed unity. This paper develops an alternative approach for assessing the MWC using evidence on underlying parameters (e.g., labor supply elasticities, the demand elasticity for tax-favored goods). A MWC of around 0.3 to 0.5 seems more consistent with these parameter values, though this estimate is still significantly higher because of tax deductions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Parry, 2002. "Tax Deductions and the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(5), pages 531-552, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:5:p:531-552 DOI: 10.1023/A:1020992803400
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fetene, Gebeyehu M. & Hirte, Georg & Kaplan, Sigal & Prato, Carlo G. & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2016. "The economics of workplace charging," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 93-118.
    2. Ian W.H. Parry & Michael Toman, 2002. "Early Emission Reduction Programs: An Application to CO2 Policy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 73-95.
    3. Parry, Ian W. H., 2002. "Funding transportation spending in metropolitan Washington, DC: the costs of alternative revenue sources," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 362-390, September.
    4. Åsa Hansson, 2007. "Taxpayers' responsiveness to tax rate changes and implications for the cost of taxation in Sweden," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(5), pages 563-582, October.
    5. Will Martin & James E. Anderson, 2005. "Costs of Taxation and the Benefits of Public Goods: The Role of Income Effects," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 617, Boston College Department of Economics.
    6. Liqun Liu & Andrew Rettenmaier & Thomas Saving, 2011. "The welfare gain from replacing the health insurance tax exclusion with lump-sum tax credits," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 101-113, June.
    7. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2014. "Shedding light on the appropriateness of the (high) gasoline tax level in Germany," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-210.

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