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Who Benefits from Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefits?: Evidence from University Parking

Author

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  • Michael D. Grubb
  • Paul Oyer

Abstract

We use university parking permits to study how firms and employees split the value of employee benefit tax subsidies. Starting in 1998, the IRS allowed employees to pay for parking passes with pre-tax income. This subsidized the parking pass purchases of faculty and staff, but did not affect students. We show that the typical university raised its parking rates by 8-10% extra when it implemented a pre-tax payment system, but that this increase was the same for those affected by the tax change and those that were not affected. We conclude that university employees captured much of the new tax benefit, that faculty and staff that purchase permits benefited relative to those that do not purchase permits, and that students that purchase permits were made worse off relative to those that do not buy permits. We discuss what these results suggest about universities' objectives in setting their parking prices and about the demand for university parking.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Grubb & Paul Oyer, 2008. "Who Benefits from Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefits?: Evidence from University Parking," NBER Working Papers 14062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oyer, Paul, 2004. "Salary or Benefits?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8xs3k3j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
    3. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
    4. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Does Government R&D Policy Mainly Benefit Scientists and Engineers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 298-302, May.
    5. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
    6. Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "E-ZTax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 12924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Maria Arbatskaya & Kaushik Mukhopadhaya & Eric Rasmusen, 2001. "The Parking Lot Problem," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-119, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
      • Maria Arbatskaya & Kaushik Mukhopadhaya & Eric Rasmusen, 2007. "The Parking Lot Problem," Working Papers 2007-04, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    8. Anthony M. Marino & Ján Zábojník, 2008. "A Rent Extraction View of Employee Discounts and Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 485-518, July.
    9. James Andreoni & A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "Do Government Grants to Private Charities Crowd Out Giving or Fund-raising?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 792-812, June.
    10. Susin, Scott, 2002. "Rent vouchers and the price of low-income housing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-152, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hammermann, Andrea & Mohnen, Alwine, 2012. "Who Benefits from Benefits? Empirical Research on Tangible Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 6284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
    • K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other

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