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An Empirical Model of Tax Convexity and Self-Employment

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  • Jean-François Wen

    (University of Calgary)

  • Daniel V. Gordon

    (University of Calgary and University of Stavanger)

Abstract

Do progressive marginal income tax rates discourage self-employment? We assume risk neutrality to construct an implicit surtax on stochastic income relative to steady income, arising from a convex tax schedule. It is computed as part of a structural probit model with earnings equations and a tax simulator. The tax convexity variable and the net-of-tax income difference between self- and paid employment have the predicted signs and high levels of statistical significance for the probability of self-employment. A simulated flat tax reform suggests the tax effects are small. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Wen & Daniel V. Gordon, 2014. "An Empirical Model of Tax Convexity and Self-Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 471-482, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:96:y:2014:i:3:p:471-482
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce, Donald & Gurley-Calvez, Tami J. & Norwood, Alex, 2020. "Entrepreneurship as Trust," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 16(5), pages 393-443, April.
    2. Daniel V. Gordon & Jean-François Wen, 2018. "Tax penalties on fluctuating incomes: estimates from longitudinal data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 430-457, April.
    3. Fossen, Frank M. & König, Johannes & Schröder, Carsten, 2020. "Risk Preference and Entrepreneurial Investment at the Top of the Wealth Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 13951, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Gustavo A. Caballero, 2017. "Responsibility or autonomy: children and the probability of self-employment in the USA," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 493-512, August.
    5. Zsofia Barany, 2018. "Taxation and Self-Employment," Sciences Po publications 2018-02, Sciences Po.
    6. Pourya Darnihamedani & Joern Hendrich Block & Jolanda Hessels & Aram Simonyan, 2018. "Taxes, start-up costs, and innovative entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 355-369, August.
    7. Steiner, Viktor & Fossen, Frank & Rees, Ray & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "How Do Entrepreneurial Portfolios Respond to Income Taxation?," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168302, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Frank Fossen & Ray Rees & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2017. "How Do Entrepreneurial Portfolios Respond to Taxation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6558, CESifo.
    9. Jean-Marie Dufour & Joachim Wilde, 2018. "Weak identification in probit models with endogenous covariates," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 102(4), pages 611-631, October.
    10. Frank M. Fossen & Ray Rees & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2020. "The effects of income taxation on entrepreneurial investment: A puzzle?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(6), pages 1321-1363, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax convexity; marginal income tax rates; self-employment; tax reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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