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Myth and Reality of Flat Tax Reform: Tax Evasion and Real Side Response of Russian Households

We use detailed micro-level data on consumption and income for a 1998-2004 panel of Russian households to study the effects of the flat income tax reform in 2001. We show that the gap between household expenditures and reported income is a meaningful measure of tax evasion. We use the difference-indifference and regression discontinuity approaches to assess the response of tax evasion and worker productivity to the flat tax. We find that the tax evasion response (10-12%) is larger than the productivity response (0-4%), and thus increased tax revenues and reported earnings are largely driven by improved tax compliance.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0728.pdf
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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0728.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0728
Contact details of provider: Phone: 404-413-0235
Fax: 404-413-0244
Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html

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  11. Aarbu, Karl O. & Thoresen, Thor O., 2001. "Income Responses to Tax Changes--Evidence From the Norwegian Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(2), pages 319-338, June.
  12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2007. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0719, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  13. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
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  16. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2003. "Multiple Modes of Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence from the TCMP," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0306, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  17. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Aarbu, Karl O. & Thoresen, Thor O., 2001. "Income Responses to Tax Changes--Evidence from the Norwegian Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 319-38, June.
  19. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Sabirianova Peter, Klara, 2007. "Public sector pay and corruption: Measuring bribery from micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 963-991, June.
  20. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
  21. Gerald Auten & Robert Carroll, 1999. "The Effect Of Income Taxes On Household Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 681-693, November.
  22. Panayiota Lyssiotou & Panos Pashardes & Thanasis Stengos, 2004. "Estimates of the black economy based on consumer demand approaches," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 622-640, 07.
  23. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Rider, Mark, 2005. "Multiple Modes of Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(1), pages 51-76, March.
  24. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  25. Naomi E. Feldman & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Estimating tax noncompliance with evidence from unaudited tax returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 327-352, 03.
  26. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. Gauthier, Bernard & Gersovitz, Mark, 1997. "Revenue erosion through exemption and evasion in Cameroon, 1993," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 407-424, June.
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