The Impact of Direct Taxes on the Cost of Living
In this paper, the authors define a cost-of-living index including direct taxes. They show its relationship to the traditional index and demonstrate how nonconsumption costs are properly treated. They t hen define a fixed-weight approximation, a tax and price index (TPI). Using federal, state, local, and social security tax rates for 1967- 85, the authors construct annual TPI series based on household data. They find that inclusion of direct taxes has sizable impacts on the e stimated rate of inflation. Partitioning their household sample, they find that recognition of taxes significantly alters inflation rate d ifferentials estimated using consumption prices alone. Copyright 1987 by University of Chicago Press.