IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/quante/v10y2019i4p1317-1356.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How do tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?

Author

Listed:
  • Hans A. Holter
  • Dirk Krueger
  • Serhiy Stepanchuk

Abstract

How much additional tax revenue can the government generate by increasing the level of labor income taxes? In this paper, we argue that the degree of tax progressivity is a quantitatively important determinant of the answer to this question. To make this point, we develop a large scale overlapping generations model with single and married households facing idiosyncratic income risk, extensive and intensive margins of labor supply, as well as endogenous accumulation of human capital through labor market experience. We calibrate the model to U.S. macro, micro, and tax data and characterize the labor income tax Laffer curve for various degrees of tax progressivity. We find that the peak of the U.S. Laffer curve is attained at an average labor income tax rate of 58%. This peak (the maximal tax revenues the government can raise) increases by 7% if the current progressive tax code is replaced with a flat labor income tax. Replacing the current U.S. tax system with one that has Denmark' s progressivity would lower the peak by 8%. We show that modeling the extensive margin of labor supply and endogenous human capital accumulation is crucial for these findings. With joint taxation of married couples (as in the U.S.), higher tax progressivity leads to significantly lower labor force participation of married women and substantially higher labor force participation of single women, an effect that is especially pronounced when future wages of females depend positively on past labor market experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans A. Holter & Dirk Krueger & Serhiy Stepanchuk, 2019. "How do tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1317-1356, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:quante:v:10:y:2019:i:4:p:1317-1356
    DOI: 10.3982/QE653
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.3982/QE653
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Huggett & Alejandro Badel, 2013. "Taxing Top Earners: A Human Capital Perspective," 2013 Meeting Papers 625, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Fève, Patrick & Matheron, Julien & Sahuc, Jean-Guillaume, 2012. "The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy," TSE Working Papers 12-288, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2013.
    3. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Serdar Ozkan, 2014. "Taxation of Human Capital and Wage Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 818-850.
    5. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High Marginal Tax Rates on the Top 1%? Lessons from a Life Cycle Model with Idiosyncratic Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 10208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    7. Chakraborty, Indraneel & Holter, Hans A. & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2015. "Marriage stability, taxation and aggregate labor supply in the U.S. vs. Europe," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-20.
    8. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    9. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    10. Luis Cubeddu & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2003. "Families As Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 671-682, 04/05.
    11. Guner, Nezih & Lopez-Daneri, Martin & Ventura, Gustavo, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Government revenues: Higher taxes at the top?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 69-85.
    12. Roland Benabou, 2002. "Tax and Education Policy in a Heterogeneous-Agent Economy: What Levels of Redistribution Maximize Growth and Efficiency?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 481-517, March.
    13. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    14. Hans A. Holter, 2015. "Accounting for cross‐country differences in intergenerational earnings persistence: The impact of taxation and public education expenditure," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), pages 385-428, July.
    15. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    16. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    17. Kaiji Chen & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu, 2017. "Debt in the US economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(4), pages 675-706, December.
    18. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    19. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I & Rebelo, Sergio T, 2002. "Production, Growth and Business Cycles: Technical Appendix," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 87-116, October.
    20. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2015. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 89-117, August.
    21. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    22. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2015. "Reconciling Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Structural Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 89-117, 08.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    2. Cubas, German & Silos, Pedro, 2017. "Social Insurance and Occupational Mobility," MPRA Paper 83020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Brinca, Pedro & Duarte, João B. & Holter, Hans A. & Oliveira, João G., 2019. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Taxation and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 91960, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Christine Ma & Chung Tran, 2016. "Fiscal Space under Demographic Shift," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-642, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    5. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    6. Stanisław Cichocki & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2016. "The evolution of the Laffer curve as a framework for studying tax evasion: from simple theoretical to DSGE models," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 45.
    7. Kazuki Hiraga & Kengo Nutahara, 2016. "When is the Laffer Curve for Consumption Tax Hump-Shaped?," CIGS Working Paper Series 16-002E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    8. Eric M. Leeper, 2015. "Fiscal Analysis is Darned Hard," CAEPR Working Papers 2015-021, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    9. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High Marginal Tax Rates on the Top 1%? Lessons from a Life Cycle Model with Idiosyncratic Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 10208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Exler, Florian, 2015. "Personal bankruptcy and wage garnishment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113219, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    12. José Ramón García & Valeri Sorolla, 2016. "The Calmfors-Driffill Hypothesis with Labour Market Frictions and Regulated Goods Markets," Working Papers 889, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    13. Bo Hyun Chang & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2018. "Pareto Weights in Practice: A Quantitative Analysis of 32 OECD Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 181-204, April.
    14. James Dolmas & Daniel R. Carroll & Eric R. Young, 2015. "Majority Voting: A Quantitative Investigation," Working Papers (Old Series) 1442, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 17 Jun 2017.
    15. Kazuki Hiraga & Kengo Nutahara, 2018. "Why is the shape of the Laffer curve for consumption tax different from that for labor income tax?," CIGS Working Paper Series 18-004E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    16. Froemel, M. & Gottlieb, C., 2016. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Targeting the Poor but Crowding Out Wealth," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1651, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    17. Kocharkov, Georgi & Mellert, Jan & Filote, Andra, 2015. "Teenage Childbearing and the Welfare State," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113116, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Pedro Brinca & Hans A. Holter & Per Krusell & Laurence Malafry, 2015. "Fiscal Multipliers in the 21st Century," LWS Working papers 21, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    19. Bo Hyun Chang & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2016. "Pareto Weights in Practice: A Quantitative Analysis Across 32 OECD Countries," Working papers 2016rwp-92, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    20. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High marginal tax rates on the top 1%?," CFS Working Paper Series 473, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    21. Emilian Dobrescu, 2018. "Functional trinity of public finance in an emerging economy," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 7(1), pages 1-27, December.
    22. Kazuki Hiraga & Kengo Nutahara, 2019. "Fragility in modeling consumption tax revenue," CIGS Working Paper Series 19-003E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:quante:v:10:y:2019:i:4:p:1317-1356. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.