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Is the Maximum Tax on Earned Income Effective?


  • Lawrence B. Lindsey


The Tax Reform Act of 1969 included a provision intended to set at 50 percent the tax rate on all personal service income above the 50 percent bracket amount. The current law fails to meet this objective for the vast majority of these taxpayers. This paper explains why the current law is ineffective, simulates our current experience with the law using the National Bureau of Economic Research TAXSIM model, and considers options to the present law.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence B. Lindsey, 1981. "Is the Maximum Tax on Earned Income Effective?," NBER Working Papers 0613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0613
    Note: PE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. King, Robert G., 1981. "Monetary information and monetary neutrality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 195-206.
    2. Robert J. Barro & Mark Rush, 1980. "Unanticipated Money and Economic Activity," NBER Chapters,in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 23-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Barro, Robert J. & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1980. "Money stock revisions and unanticipated money growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 257-267, April.
    4. John F. Boschen & Herschel I. Grossman, 1980. "Monetary Information and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 0498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lawrence B. Lindsey, 1985. "Taxpayer Behavior and the Distribution of the 1982 Tax Cut," NBER Working Papers 1760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lawrence B. Lindsey, 1985. "Estimating the Revenue Maximizing Top Personal Tax Rate," NBER Working Papers 1761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 37-56, Summer.
    5. Lawrence Lindsey, 1987. "Rates, Realizations, and Revenues of Capital Gains," NBER Chapters,in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 17-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Nada Eissa, 1995. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lawrence B. Lindsey, 1986. "Individual Taxpayer Response to Tax Cuts 1982-1984 with Implications forthe Revenue Maximizing Tax Rate," NBER Working Papers 2069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David E. Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1995. "Marginal tax rates and income inequality: a quantitative-theoretic analysis," Working Paper 9508, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    9. Lawrence B. Lindsey, 1987. "Capital Gains Rates, Realizations, and Revenues," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 69-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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