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Distributional Effects on a Lifetime Basis

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  • Don Fullerton
  • Diane Lim Rogers

Abstract

All government agencies charged with the responsibility of estimating distributional effects use annual income to classify households and one year's tax to characterize tax burdens. In this paper, we describe an alternative procedure to estimate lifetime tax burdens as proportions of lifetime income. To illustrate this model, we calculate lifetime effects of a uniform consumption tax and a wage tax. This kind of analysis can supplement existing annual analyses, since policymakers might want to insure both that current taxes reflect current ability to pay and that lifetime taxes reflect lifetime ability to pay.

Suggested Citation

  • Don Fullerton & Diane Lim Rogers, 1994. "Distributional Effects on a Lifetime Basis," NBER Working Papers 4862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4862
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
    2. Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-330, May.
    3. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
    4. Barthold, Thomas A., 1993. "How Should We Measure Distribution?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 291-99, September.
    5. N/A, 1985. "General Policy," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 74-79, January.
    6. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-544, September.
    7. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    8. Lyon, Andrew B & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 389-406, August.
    9. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    10. N/A, 1985. "General Policy," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 112-117, January.
    11. Barthold, Thomas A., 1993. "How Should We Measure Distribution?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 291-299, September.
    12. 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 633-649, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nelissen, Jan H. M., 1998. "Annual versus lifetime income redistribution by social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 223-249, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does It Pay to Work?," NBER Working Papers 9096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Harry ter Rele, 2005. "Measuring lifetime redistribution in Dutch collective arrangements," CPB Document 79, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence

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