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Evidence on the Insurance Effect of Marginal Income Taxes

Author

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  • Grant, Charles
  • Koulovatianos, Christos
  • Michaelides, Alexander
  • Padula, Mario

Abstract

Marginal income taxes may have an insurance effect by decreasing the effective fluctuations of after-tax individual income. By compressing the idiosyncratic component of personal income fluctuations, higher marginal taxes should be negatively correlated with the dispersion of consumption across households, a necessary implication of an insurance effect of taxation. Our study empirically examines this negative correlation, exploiting the ample variation of state taxes across US states. We show that taxes are negatively correlated with the consumption dispersion of the within-state distribution of non-durable consumption and that this correlation is robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant, Charles & Koulovatianos, Christos & Michaelides, Alexander & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Evidence on the Insurance Effect of Marginal Income Taxes," CEPR Discussion Papers 6710, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6710
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption Insurance; Tax Distortions; Undiversifiable Earnings Risk;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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