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A boost in the paycheck: survey evidence on workers’ response to the 2011 payroll tax cuts

Author

Listed:
  • Grant Graziani
  • Wilbert Van der Klaauw
  • Basit Zafar

Abstract

This paper presents new survey evidence on workers’ response to the 2011 payroll tax cuts. While workers intended to spend 10 to 18 percent of their tax-cut income, they reported actually spending 28 to 43 percent of the funds. This is higher than estimates from studies of recent tax cuts, and arguably a consequence of the design of the 2011 tax cuts. The shift to greater consumption than intended is largely unexplained by present-bias or unanticipated shocks, and is likely a consequence of mental accounting. We also use data from a complementary survey to understand the heterogeneous tax-cut response.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant Graziani & Wilbert Van der Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2013. "A boost in the paycheck: survey evidence on workers’ response to the 2011 payroll tax cuts," Staff Reports 592, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:592
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bracha, Anat & Cooper, Daniel, 2014. "Asymmetric responses to income changes: The payroll tax increase versus tax refund in 2013," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 534-538.
    2. Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2015. "Balance-Sheet Households and Fiscal Stimulus: Lessons from the Payroll Tax Cut and Its Expiration," NBER Working Papers 21220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrea Neri & Concetta Rondinelli & Filippo Scoccianti, 2017. "Household spending out of a tax rebate: Italian “€80 tax bonus”," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 379, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Bracha, Anat & Cooper, Daniel, 2013. "Asymmetric responses to tax-induced changes in personal income: the 2013 payroll tax hike versus anticipated 2012 tax refunds," Public Policy Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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    Keywords

    Wages ; Income tax ; Consumption (Economics) ; Consumer behavior;

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