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Taxable Income Elasticity and the Anatomy of Behavioral Response: Evidence from Finland

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  • Matikka, Tuomas

Abstract

This paper uses extensive Finnish panel data from 1995–2007 to analyze the elasticity of taxable income (ETI). I use individual changes in flat municipal income tax rates as an instrument for the overall changes in marginal tax rates. This instrument is not a function of individual income, which is the basis for an exogenous instrument in the taxable income model. In general, instruments used in previous studies do not have this feature. Furthermore, I estimate behavioral responses using smaller subcomponents of taxable income, such as working hours, fringe benefits and tax deductions. This 'anatomy' of overall ETI has rarely been studied in the literature. The results show that the average ETI estimate in Finland is 0.35–0.60, depending on the empirical specification and the degree of regional controlling. Subcomponent analysis suggests that neither work effort nor labor supply respond actively to tax changes. In contrast, it seems that fringe benefits and deductions from taxable income might have a larger effect. A new version of this paper has been published in VATT Working Paper series: The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence from Changes in Municipal Income Tax Rates in Finland, VATT WP 69, 18.12.2015.

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  • Matikka, Tuomas, 2014. "Taxable Income Elasticity and the Anatomy of Behavioral Response: Evidence from Finland," Working Papers 55, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:55
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    File URL: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/148794
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Tore Olsen & Luigi Pistaferri, 2011. "Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Micro vs. Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Danish Tax Records," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 749-804.
    6. Weber, Caroline E., 2014. "Toward obtaining a consistent estimate of the elasticity of taxable income using difference-in-differences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 90-103.
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    8. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
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    11. 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.
    12. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2005. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2093-2119, December.
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    16. Saez, Emmanuel, 2003. "The effect of marginal tax rates on income: a panel study of 'bracket creep'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1231-1258, May.
    17. Joel Slemrod, 1996. "High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response," NBER Chapters,in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 169-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    20. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2013. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting between tax bases: what is “real” and what is not?," Working Papers 1313, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13470 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. J. Malte Zoubek, 2018. "Spatial Productivity Differences and the Optimal Tax Treatment of Commuting Expenses," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 187-18, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    3. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2014. "Sufficient Statistic or Not? The Elasticity of Taxable Income in the Presence of Deduction Possibilities," IZA Discussion Papers 8554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:41-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2017. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income in the Presence of Deduction Possibilities," NBER Chapters,in: Personal Income Taxation and Household Behavior (TAPES) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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