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Distributional Effects on a Lifetime Basis

  • Don Fullerton
  • Diane Lim Rogers

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4862.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4862.

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Date of creation: Sep 1994
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Publication status: published as Distributional Analysis of Tax Policy, ed. by David F. Bradford Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute Press, 1995, pp. 262-294.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4862
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. James M. Poterba, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," NBER Working Papers 2833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barthold, Thomas A., 1993. "How Should We Measure Distribution?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 291-99, September.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  4. Andrew B. Lyon & Robert M. Schwab, 1991. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," NBER Working Papers 3932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Jonathan Skinner, 1981. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," NBER Working Papers 0819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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 706-32, August.
  7. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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