IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ifs/ifsewp/16-17.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Mobility and the lifetime distributional impact of tax and transfer reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Levell

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Barra Roantree

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Jonathan Shaw

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Financial Conduct Authority)

Abstract

The distributional impact of proposed reforms plays a central role in public debates around tax and transfer policy. We show that accounting for realistic patterns of mobility in employment, earnings and household circumstances over the life-cycle greatly affects our assessment of the distributional effects of tax and transfer reforms. We focus on three reforms modelled in the UK context: (i) changes to out-of-work versus in-work benefits, (ii) adjustments to income tax rates, and (iii) reforms to indirect taxation. In all three cases, the long-run distributional impact differs to that implied by a standard crosssection analysis in important ways.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Levell & Barra Roantree & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Mobility and the lifetime distributional impact of tax and transfer reforms," IFS Working Papers W16/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:16/17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/wps/WP201617.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-330, May.
    2. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Gemma Tetlow, 2009. "What is a Public Sector Pension Worth?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(541), pages 517-535, November.
    3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Female Labor Supply, Human Capital, and Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1705-1753, September.
    4. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
    5. Timm Bönke & Giacomo Corneo & Holger Lüthen, 2015. "Lifetime Earnings Inequality in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 171-208.
    6. Gordon B. Dahl & Andreas Ravndal Kostøl & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Family Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1711-1752.
    7. Peter Levell & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Constructing Full Adult Life-cycles from Short Panels," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 9(2), pages 5-40.
    8. James Banks & Carl Emmerson & Gemma Tetlow, 2014. "Effect of Pensions and Disability Benefits on Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Disability Insurance Programs and Retirement, pages 81-136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income," Reports 49978, Congressional Budget Office.
    10. A. Bovenberg & Martin Hansen & Peter Sørensen, 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance: rationale and alternative designs," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(1), pages 67-86, February.
    11. Blundell, Richard, 2006. "Earned income tax credit policies: Impact and optimality: The Adam Smith Lecture, 2005," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 423-443, August.
    12. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income," Reports 49978, Congressional Budget Office.
    13. Fullerton, Don & Rogers, Diane Lim, 1991. "Lifetime Versus Annual Perspectives on Tax Incidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(3), pages 277-87, September.
    14. Richard Blundell, 2014. "Income Dynamics and Life‐cycle Inequality: Mechanisms and Controversies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 289-318, May.
    15. Lyon, Andrew B & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 389-406, August.
    16. 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.
    17. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 655-82, December.
    18. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    19. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income," Reports 49978, Congressional Budget Office.
    20. James Banks & Carl Emmerson & Gemma C. Tetlow, 2014. "Effect of Pensions and Disability Benefits on Retirement in the UK," NBER Working Papers 19907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Peter Levell & Barra Roantree & Jonathan Shaw, 2015. "Redistribution from a lifetime perspective," IFS Working Papers W15/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    22. Hoynes, Hilary W. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2011. "The insurance value of state tax-and-transfer programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1466-1484.
    23. Garry Barrett & Peter Levell & Kevin Milligan, 2014. "A Comparison of Micro and Macro Expenditure Measures across Countries Using Differing Survey Methods," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 263-286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(4), pages 655-682, December.
    25. Bovenberg, A.L. & Hansen, M. & Sorensen, P.B., 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance : Rationale and alternative designs," Other publications TiSEM 72e236b0-ad63-4bea-a314-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    26. Manuel Arellano & Richard Blundell & Stéphane Bonhomme, 2017. "Earnings and Consumption Dynamics: A Nonlinear Panel Data Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 693-734, May.
    27. Fullerton, Don & Rogers, Diane Lim, 1991. "Lifetime Versus Annual Perspectives on Tax Incidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 44(3), pages 277-287, September.
    28. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income," Reports 49978, Congressional Budget Office.
    29. Gonzalo Paz Pardo & Giulio Fella & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2016. "The Implications of Richer Earnings Dynamics for Consumption, Wealth, and Welfare," 2016 Meeting Papers 149, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. Audra J. Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2012. "An International Comparison Of Lifetime Inequality: How Continental Europe Resembles North America," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1236-1262, December.
    31. Davies, James B & St-Hilaire, France & Whalley, John, 1984. "Some Calculations of Lifetime Tax Incidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 633-649, September.
    32. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937," NBER Working Papers 13345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Charlotte Bartels & Dirk Neumann, 2018. "Redistribution and Insurance in Welfare States around the World," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 985, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Julio López Laborda & Carmen Marín González & Jorge Onrubia, 2019. "Observatorio sobre el reparto de los impuestos y las prestaciones monetarias entre los hogares españoles. Cuarto informe: 2016 y 2017," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2019-36, FEDEA.
    3. Brewer, Mike & Joyce, Robert & Waters, Tom & Woods, Joseph, 2020. "A method for decomposing the impact of reforms on the long-run income distribution, with an application to universal credit," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872, Elsevier.
    2. Peter Levell & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Constructing Full Adult Life-cycles from Short Panels," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 9(2), pages 5-40.
    3. Rausch Sebastian & Metcalf Gilbert E. & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-46, July.
    4. Rausch, Sebastian & Metcalf, Gilbert E. & Reilly, John M., 2011. "Distributional impacts of carbon pricing: A general equilibrium approach with micro-data for households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages 20-33.
    5. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2021. "Distributional Impacts of Carbon Pricing: A Meta-Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(1), pages 1-42, January.
    6. Orsetta Causa & Mikkel Hermansen, 2017. "Income redistribution through taxes and transfers across OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1453, OECD Publishing.
    7. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "Market-Based Policy Options to Control U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 5-27, Spring.
    8. Barra Roantree & Jonathan Shaw, 2018. "What a difference a day makes: inequality and the tax and benefit system from a long-run perspective," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(1), pages 23-40, March.
    9. Abrell, Jan & Rausch, Sebastian & Schwarz, Giacomo A., 2018. "How robust is the uniform emissions pricing rule to social equity concerns?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 783-814.
    10. Arsić, Milojko & Altiparmakov, Nikola, 2013. "Equity aspects of VAT in emerging European countries: A case study of Serbia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 171-186.
    11. Burtraw, Dallas & Sweeney, Richard & Walls, Margaret, 2008. "The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit," Discussion Papers dp-08-28, Resources For the Future.
    12. Lyon, Andrew B & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 389-406, August.
    13. Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2021. "Distributional Effects of a Wealth Tax under Lifetime‐Dynastic Income Concepts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 184-215, January.
    14. Don Fullerton & Gilbert Metcalf, 2002. "The Distribution of Tax Burdens," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0201, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    15. Fremstad, Anders & Paul, Mark, 2019. "The Impact of a Carbon Tax on Inequality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 88-97.
    16. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Don Fullerton, 2002. "The Distribution of Tax Burdens: An Introduction," NBER Working Papers 8978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Orsetta Causa & Mikkel Hermansen, 2018. "Income Redistribution Through Taxes and Transfers across OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 729, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2018. "Distributional Impacts of Climate Mitigation Policies - a Meta-Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1776, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    19. Brenner, Mark & Riddle, Matthew & Boyce, James K., 2007. "A Chinese sky trust?: Distributional impacts of carbon charges and revenue recycling in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1771-1784, March.
    20. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier & Anthony Terriau, 2020. "The impact of EITC on education, labor market trajectories, and inequalities," Working Papers halshs-03082382, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobility; tax; transfer reforms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:16/17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifsssuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Emma Hyman (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifsssuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.