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Identifying Behavioral Responses to Tax Reforms: New Insights and a New Approach

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  • Katrine Marie Jakobsen

    (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Jakob Egholt Søgaard

    (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We revisit the identification of behavioral responses to tax reforms and develop a new approach that allows for graphical validation of identifying assumptions and representation of treatment effects. Considering typical tax reforms, such as a reduction in the top income tax, we show that the state-of-the-art estimation strategy relies on an assumption that trend differences in income across the income distribution remain constant in the absence of reforms. Similar to the pre-trend validation of differencesin-differences studies, this identifying assumption of constant trend differentials can be validated by comparing the evolution of income in untreated parts of the income distribution over time. We illustrate the importance of our new validation approach by studying a number of tax reforms in Denmark, and we show how violations of the identifying assumption may drive the estimates obtained from the state-of-the-art strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Katrine Marie Jakobsen & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2020. "Identifying Behavioral Responses to Tax Reforms: New Insights and a New Approach," CEBI working paper series 20-23, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kucebi:2023
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    Cited by:

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    2. Marè, M.; & Porcelli, F.; & Vidoli, F.;, 2024. "Does private supply drive personal health choices? A spatial approach of health tax detractions at municipal level," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 24/03, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Maria Jouste & Tina Kaidu Barugahara & Joseph Okello Ayo & Jukka Pirttilä & Pia Rattenhuber, 2023. "Taxpayer response to greater progressivity: Evidence from personal income tax reform in Uganda," Working Papers 13, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Tax Systems Research.
    4. Henrik Kleven & Claus Kreiner & Kristian Larsen & Jakob Søgaard, 2023. "Micro vs Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: The Role of Dynamic Returns to Effort," Working Papers 2023-15, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    5. Chan, Marc K. & Morris, Todd & Polidano, Cain & Vu, Ha, 2022. "Income and saving responses to tax incentives for private retirement savings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    6. Miao, Dingquan & Selin, Håkan & Söderström, Martin, 2022. "Earnings responses to even higher taxes," Working Paper Series 2022:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    7. Sigaard, Hans Schytte, 2023. "Estimating labor supply responses to Danish tax reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 224(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Reforms; Behavioral Responses; Identification; Validation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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