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No Country For Old Men (Or Women) — Do State Tax Policies Drive Away The Elderly?

  • Conway, Karen Smith
  • Rork, Jonathan C.
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    Over the last 40 years, state income tax breaks targeting the elderly have grown, often justified by arguments that the elderly move across state lines in response to such tax preferences. Using two complementary sources of elderly migration data and several measures of elderly income tax breaks, we investigate the relationship between these tax breaks and migration. We employ different empirical methodologies that emphasize changes over time, including panel regression models spanning four censuses (1970–2000), and several different socioeconomic groups of elderly. Our results are overwhelming in their failure to reveal any consistent effect of state income tax breaks on elderly interstate migration.

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    Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 313-56

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    Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:65:y:2012:i:2:p:313-56
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    1. J. Trent Alexander & Michael Davern & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Inaccurate age and sex data in the Census PUMS files: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 15703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Karen Smith Conway & Andrew J. Houtenville, 2003. "Out with the Old, In with the Old: A Closer Look at Younger Versus Older Elderly Migration," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(2), pages 309-328.
    3. Fields, Gary S, 1979. "Place-to-Place Migration: Some New Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 21-32, February.
    4. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    5. Farnham, Martin & Sevak, Purvi, 2006. "State fiscal institutions and empty-nest migration: Are Tiebout voters hobbled?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 407-427, February.
    6. Jon Bakija & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Do the Rich Flee from High State Taxes? Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 10645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Young, Cristobal & Varner, Charles, 2011. "Millionaire Migration And State Taxation Of Top Incomes: Evidence From A Natural Experiment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 255-83, June.
    8. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
    9. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    10. 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.
    11. Jon Bakija, 2006. "Documentation for a Comprehensive Historical U.S. Federal and State Income Tax Calculator Program," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-02, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Aug 2009.
    12. Frees, Edward W, 1992. "Forecasting State-to-State Migration Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 153-67, April.
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