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On Estimating Marginal Tax Rates for U.S. States


  • Reed, W. Robert
  • Rogers, Cynthia L
  • Skidmore, Mark


This paper presents a procedure for generating state-specific time-varying estimates of marginal tax rates (MTRs). Most estimates of MTRs follow a procedure developed by Koester and Kormendi (1989) (K&K). Unfortunately, the time-invariant nature of the K&K estimates precludes their use as explanatory variables in panel data studies with fixed effects. Furthermore, the associated MTR estimates are not explicitly linked to statutory tax parameters. Our approach addresses both shortcomings. Using comprehensive tax policy data, we estimate state-specific, time-varying MTRs for all 50 states over the years 1977–2004. The inclusion of statutory tax variables has a significant impact on MTR estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Reed, W. Robert & Rogers, Cynthia L & Skidmore, Mark, 2011. "On Estimating Marginal Tax Rates for U.S. States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(1), pages 59-84, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:64:y:2011:i:1:p:59-84

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Feldstein, Martin, 2002. "The Transformation of Public Economics Research: 1970-2000," Scholarly Articles 2797442, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Merriman, David & Skidmore, Mark, 2000. "Did Distortionary Sales Taxation Contribute to the Growth of the Service Sector?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(1), pages 125-142, March.
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    7. 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.
    8. Padovano, Fabio & Galli, Emma, 2002. "Comparing the growth effects of marginal vs. average tax rates and progressivity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 529-544, September.
    9. Merriman, David & Skidmore, Mark, 2000. "Did Distortionary Sales Taxation Contribute to the Growth of the Service Sector?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 125-42, March.
    10. Nichols, Mark W. & Tosun, Mehmet Serkan, 2008. "The Income Elasticity of Gross Casino Revenues: Short–Run and Long–Run Estimates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(4), pages 635-652, December.
    11. Skidmore, Mark, 1999. "Tax and Expenditure Limitations and the Fiscal Relationships between State and Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 77-102, April.
    12. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2004. "The Income Elasticity of Tax Revenue: Estimates for Income and Consumption Taxes in the United Kingdom," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(1), pages 55-77, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. John D. Merrifield & Barry W. Poulson, 2016. "A Dynamic Scoring Simulation Analysis of How TEL Design Choices Impact Government Expansion," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 4(2), pages 60-68, April.
    2. Richard Funderburg & Timothy J. Bartik & Alan H. Peters & Peter S. Fisher, 2013. "The Impact Of Marginal Business Taxes On State Manufacturing," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 557-582, October.
    3. Minniti, Antonio & Venturini, Francesco, 2017. "The long-run growth effects of R&D policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 316-326.
    4. John Merrifield & Barry W. Poulson, 2014. "State Fiscal Policies for Budget Stabilization and Economic Growth: A Dynamic Scoring Analysis," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 34(1), pages 47-81, Winter.
    5. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2014. "Measuring Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income: Evidence for the US Income Tax," Working Paper Series 3137, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.

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