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Tax Cuts For Whom? Heterogeneous Effects of Income Tax Changes on Growth and Employment

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  • Owen M. Zidar

Abstract

This paper investigates how tax changes for different income groups affect aggregate economic activity. I construct a measure of who received (or paid for) tax changes in the postwar period using tax return data from NBER's TAXSIM. I aggregate each tax change by income group and state. Variation in the income distribution across U.S. states and federal tax changes generate variation in regional tax shocks that I exploit to test for heterogeneous effects. I find that the positive relationship between tax cuts and employment growth is largely driven by tax cuts for lower-income groups, and that the effect of tax cuts for the top 10% on employment growth is small.

Suggested Citation

  • Owen M. Zidar, 2015. "Tax Cuts For Whom? Heterogeneous Effects of Income Tax Changes on Growth and Employment," NBER Working Papers 21035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21035
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan M. Siegel & Alan J. Auerbach, 2000. "Capital-Gains Realizations of the Rich and Sophisticated," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 276-282, May.
    2. Jeffrey Clemens & Stephen Miran, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 46-68, May.
    3. Saez, Emmanuel & Zucman, Gabriel, 2014. "Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 10227, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1199-1239, July.
    5. Jeffrey Clemens & Stephen Miran, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 46-68, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2016. "Who Benefits from State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets Approach with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2582-2624, September.
    2. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2019. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Spending Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, May.
    3. Clément Malgouyres & Thierry Mayer, 2018. "Exports and labor costs: evidence from a French policy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(3), pages 429-454, August.
    4. Axelle Ferriere & Gaston Navarro, 2013. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes," Working Papers 13-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Suresh Nallareddy & Ethan Rouen & Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, 2018. "Do Corporate Tax Cuts Increase Income Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 24598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michal Horvath & Matus Senaj & Zuzana Siebertova & Norbert Svarda, 2015. "The End of the Flat Tax Experiment in Slovakia," Discussion Papers 15/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    7. Erik Hurst & Benjamin J. Keys & Amit Seru & Joseph Vavra, 2016. "Regional Redistribution through the US Mortgage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2982-3028, October.
    8. David Cashin & Jamie Lenney & Byron Lutz & William Peterman, 2018. "Fiscal policy and aggregate demand in the USA before, during, and following the Great Recession," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(6), pages 1519-1558, December.
    9. Dan Rickman & Hongbo Wang, 2020. "U.S. State And Local Fiscal Policy And Economic Activity: Do We Know More Now?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 424-465, April.
    10. Suresh Nallareddy & Ethan Rouen & Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, 2019. "Do Corporate Tax Cuts Increase Income Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7824, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Alloza, Mario, 2016. "The impact of taxes on income mobility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86178, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Timothy J. Bartik, 2017. "New Evidence on State Fiscal Multipliers: Implications for State Policies," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 17-275, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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