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Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities

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  • Slemrod, Joel

Abstract

Because the response of taxable income to the income tax rate captures all of the responses to taxation, it holds the promise of more accurately summarizing the marginal efficiency cost of taxation than a narrower measure of taxpayer response such as the labor supply elasticity. The promise does, though, come with problems and caveats. This paper reviews the key issues in empirically measuring the taxable income elasticity and in using it to evaluate tax reform. I stress the idea that the taxable income elasticity is a matter of government policy, rather than an immutable parameter, and note the importance of looking for revenue offsets in other tax bases and other time periods.

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  • Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(4), pages 773-788, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:51:y:1998:i:4:p:773-88
    DOI: 10.1086/NTJ41789368
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Slemrod,Joel, 1997. "Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521587761, June.
    2. Feldstein, Martin, 1997. "How Big Should Government Be?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 50(2), pages 197-213, June.
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    5. Triest, Robert K., 1998. "Econometric Issues in Estimating the Behavioral Response to Taxation: A Nontechnical Introduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(4), pages 761-772, December.
    6. Triest, Robert K., 1998. "Econometric Issues in Estimating the Behavioral Response to Taxation: A Nontechnical Introduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 761-72, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Burman, Leonard E. & Clausing, Kimberly A. & O'Hare, John F., 1994. "Tax Reform and Realizations of Capital Gains in 1986," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, March.
    9. Burman, Leonard E. & Clausing, Kimberly A. & O'Hare, John F., 1994. "Tax Reform and Realizations of Capital Gains in 1986," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, March.
    10. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld96-1, June.
    11. Slemrod, Joel, 1994. "Fixing the leak in Okun's bucket optimal tax progressivity when avoidance can be controlled," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-51, September.
    12. Slemrod, Joel & Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2002. "The optimal elasticity of taxable income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 91-112, April.
    13. Alan J. Auerbach & Joel Slemrod, 1997. "The Economic Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 589-632, June.
    14. Maki, Dean M., 1996. "Portfolio Shuffling and Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(3), pages 317-29, September.
    15. Feldstein, Martin, 1997. "How Big Should Government Be?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 197-213, June.
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