The household spending response to the 2003 tax cut: evidence from survey data
The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2003 has been described as textbook fiscal stimulus. Using household survey data on the self-reported qualitative response to the tax cuts, we estimate that the boost to aggregate personal consumption expenditures from the child credit rebate and the reduction in withholdings raised the average level of real GDP in the second half of 2003 by 0.2 percent and by 0.3 percent in the first half of 2004. We also show that households in the survey were well aware of their tax cuts and tended to spend equally out of the child credit rebate and the reduced withholdings, a result that is contrary to the conventional wisdom.
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