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Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes

  • James M. Poterba

This implies that low-income households in one year have some chance of being higher-income households in other years, and significantly affects the estimated distributional burden of excise taxes. This paper shows that household expenditures on gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco as a share of total consumption (a proxy for lifetime income) are much more equally distributed than expenditures as a share of annual income. From a longer-horizon perspective, excise taxes on these goods are therefore much less regressive than standard analyses suggest.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2833.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2833.

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Date of creation: Jan 1989
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Publication status: published as The American Economic Review, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 325-330, (May 1989).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2833
Note: PE
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  1. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-214, July.
  2. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-32, October.
  3. 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 633-49, September.
  4. repec:fth:prinin:240 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:pri:indrel:240 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Driffill, E John & Rosen, Harvey S, 1983. "Taxation and Excess Burden: A Life Cycle Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 671-83, October.
  7. Levhari, David & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "Lifetime Excess Burden of a Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(1), pages 139-47, Jan.-Feb..
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