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The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act

  • Feldstein, Martin

This paper uses a Treasury Department panel of more than 4,000 taxpayers to estimate the sensitivity of taxable income to changes in tax rates based on a comparison of the tax returns of the same individual taxpayers before and after the 1986 tax reform. The analysis emphasizes that the response of taxable income involves much more than a change in the traditional measures of labor supply. The evidence shows an elasticity of taxable income with respect to the marginal net-of-tax rate that is at least one and that could be substantially higher. The implications for recent tax rate changes are discussed. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 103 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 551-72

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:103:y:1995:i:3:p:551-72
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  1. Rose, Andrew K & Svensson, Lars E O, 1993. "European Exchange Rate Credibility Before the Fall," CEPR Discussion Papers 852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 93-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 4490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Carroll, Christopher D. & Weil, David N., 1994. "Saving and growth: a reinterpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 133-192, June.
  5. Michael D. Bordo & Ehsan U. Choudhri & Anna J. Schwartz, 1993. "Could Stable Money Have Averted The Great Contraction?," NBER Working Papers 4481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1993. "Credit Channel or Credit Actions? An Interpretation of the Postwar Transmission Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 4485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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