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Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy

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  • Congdon, William J.
  • Kling, Jeffrey R.
  • Mullainathan, Sendhil

Abstract

Behavioral economics is changing our understanding of how economic policy operates, including tax policy. In this paper, we consider some implications of behavioral economics for tax policy, such as how it changes our understanding of the welfare consequences of taxation, the relative desirability of using the tax system as a platform for policy implementation, and the role of taxes as an element of policy design. We do so by reviewing the logic of specific features of tax policy in light of recent findings in areas such as tax salience, program take-up, and fiscal stimulus.

Suggested Citation

  • Congdon, William J. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2009. "Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(3), pages 375-386, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:62:y:2009:i:3:p:375-86
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    Cited by:

    1. Aileen Heinberg & Angela Hung & Arie Kapteyn & Annamaria Lusardi & Anya Savikhin Samek & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Five steps to planning success: experimental evidence from US households," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 697-724.
    2. Avner Ben-Ner & John A. List & Louis Putterman & Anya Samek, 2015. "Learned Generosity? A Field Experiment with Parents and their Children," Working Papers 2015-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Sielaff, Christian, 2011. "Steuerkomplexität und Arbeitsangebot: Eine experimentelle Analyse," Discussion Papers 2011/13, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    4. Heutel, Garth, 2010. "Optimal Policy Instruments for Externality-Producing Durable Goods under Time Inconsistency," UNCG Economics Working Papers 10-5, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    5. Kimberley Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2015. "The price elasticity of charitable giving: does the form of tax relief matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 330-352, April.
    6. Tiezzi, Silvia & Verde, Stefano F., 2016. "Differential demand response to gasoline taxes and gasoline prices in the U.S," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 71-91.
    7. James, Simon, 2012. "The contribution of behavioral economics to tax reform in the United Kingdom," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 468-475.
    8. Shogren, Jason F., 2012. "WAEA Keynote Address Behavioral Environmental Economics: Money Pumps & Nudges," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.
    9. Goldin, Jacob, 2015. "Optimal tax salience," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 115-123.
    10. Julie Berry Cullen & Nicholas Turner & Ebonya Washington, 2018. "Political Alignment, Attitudes Toward Government and Tax Evasion," CESifo Working Paper Series 6905, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Bajo-Buenestado, Raúl, 2016. "Evidence of asymmetric behavioral responses to changes in gasoline prices and taxes for different fuel types," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 119-130.
    12. Rebecca K Scott, 2014. "Tax Salience vs. Price Uncertainty: Disentangling the Effects of Attention and Rational Habits," Economics Series Working Papers 736, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. Julie Berry Cullen & Nicholas Turner & Ebonya L. Washington, 2018. "Political Alignment, Attitudes Toward Government and Tax Evasion," NBER Working Papers 24323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Rivers, Nicholas & Schaufele, Brandon, 2015. "Salience of carbon taxes in the gasoline market," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 23-36.
    15. Alan J. Auerbach & William G. Gale, 2009. "Activist fiscal policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 327-374.
    16. Sebastian Henn & Sören Koch & Harald Gerking & Gerhard Wäscher, 2011. "A U-Shaped Layout for a Manual Order Picking System," FEMM Working Papers 110004, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    17. Hundsdoerfer, Jochen & Sielaff, Christian & Blaufus, Kay & Kiesewetter, Dirk & Weimann, Joachim, 2011. "The influence of tax labeling and tax earmarking on the willingness to contribute: A conjoint analysis," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 121, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    18. repec:wfo:monber:y:2018:i:2:p:105-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Sébastien Houde & Joseph E. Aldy, 2017. "The Efficiency Consequences of Heterogeneous Behavioral Responses to Energy Fiscal Policies," NBER Working Papers 24103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Bradley, Sebastien, 2012. "Property Tax Salience and Payment Delinquency," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-9, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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