IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?

  • Andrew B. Lyon
  • Robert M. Schwab

In this paper we construct measures of tax incidence over the life-cycle and compare these measures to traditional measures based on annual data. We show that annual measures of the incidence of taxes on consumption goods may differ from life-cycle measures for three reasons. First, annual measures of income reflect transitory components which should have smaller effects on consumption than permanent changes in income. Second, income measured in a single period differs from lifetime income due to age-related differences in earnings. Third, consumption of certain items follows life-cycle patterns independent of changes in income. Surprisingly, we find that these effects cause almost no change in the assessment of the incidence of taxes applying to the consumption of cigarettes. For alcohol, however, we find that a tax on its consumption is slightly less regressive when measured with respect to lifetime income than when measured with respect to annual income.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3932.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3932.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 77, no. 3 (1995): 389-406.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3932
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lee, Lung-Fei & Trost, Robert P., 1978. "Estimation of some limited dependent variable models with application to housing demand," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 357-382, December.
  2. Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
  3. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 145-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lee A. Lillard, 1975. "Inequality: Earnings vs. Human Wealth," NBER Working Papers 0080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-30, May.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521818551 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Becketti, Sean, et al, 1988. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics after Fourteen Years: An Evaluatio n," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 472-92, October.
  8. Robert E. Hall & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1980. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," NBER Working Papers 0505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2006. "Tax Incidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0607, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    • Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
  10. 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.
  11. Sean Becketti & William Gould & Lee Lillard & Finis Welch, 1985. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics After Fourteen Years: An Evaluation," UCLA Economics Working Papers 361, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Atkinson, A B & Gomulka, J & Stern, N H, 1990. "Spending on Alcohol: Evidence from the Family Expenditure Survey 1970-1983," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 808-27, September.
  13. Fullerton, Don & Rogers, Diane Lim, 1991. "Lifetime Versus Annual Perspectives on Tax Incidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(3), pages 277-87, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3932. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.