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Tax Rates and Revenue Changes: Behavioural and Structural Factors

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Abstract

This paper examines the elasticity of tax revenue with respect to a marginal rate change, at both the individual and aggregate level. The roles of the elasticity of taxable income (the behavioural effect on taxable income of a tax rise) and the revenue elasticity (the structural effect on revenue of a change in taxable income) are highlighted. The revenue elasticity is the central concept in examining fiscal drag, but it has an additional role in the context of the revenue effects of tax changes when incomes respond to rate changes. Illustrations are provided using changes to the New Zealand income tax structure in the 2010 Budget. This reduced all marginal tax rates while leaving income thresholds unchanged.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2011. "Tax Rates and Revenue Changes: Behavioural and Structural Factors," Treasury Working Paper Series 11/05, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:11/05
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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2011/11-05/twp11-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fullerton, Don, 1982. "On the possibility of an inverse relationship between tax rates and government revenues," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-22, October.
    2. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Iris Claus & John Creedy & Josh Teng, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income in New Zealand," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 287-303, September.
    4. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2005. "Wage growth and income tax revenue elasticities with endogenous labour supply," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 21-38, January.
    5. Giertz, Seth H., 2007. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income Over the 1980s and 1990s," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(4), pages 743-768, December.
    6. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 1996. "Progression and revenue effects of income tax reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 57-66, January.
    7. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-572, June.
    8. Adam Wagstaff & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2001. "What Makes the Personal Income Tax Progressive? A Comparative Analysis for Fifteen OECD Countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(3), pages 299-316, May.
    9. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:esr:resser:rs59 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sanz Labrador, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2013. "Política fiscal y crecimiento económico: consideraciones microeconómicas y relaciones macroeconómicas," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 134, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    3. Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2016. "The Laffer curve in schedular multi-rate income taxes with non-genuine allowances: An application to Spain," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 42-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income tax revenue; elasticity of taxable income; revenue elasticity;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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