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Recent Literature on Taxable-Income Elasticities

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  • Giertz, Seth

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on taxable-income elasticities, focusing primarily on empirical studies examining the U.S. tax changes of 1981, 1986, 1990, and 1993 and the bracket creep of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The paper first provides background on the importance of the elasticity of taxable income both for forecasting income tax revenue and for assessing the efficiency implications of tax rate changes. It then discusses the major methodological issues and obstacles before delving into the literature. The paper emphasizes the different methodologies employed and the sensitivity of estimates to an array of factors, including sample selection, the tax reform under examination, and econometric techniques (or model specification). Although it recognizes advances in the literature in recent years, the paper concludes that responses to tax rate changes are far from fully understood and that there is much to be gained from continued research on this topic.

Suggested Citation

  • Giertz, Seth, 2004. "Recent Literature on Taxable-Income Elasticities," MPRA Paper 16159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16159
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16159/1/MPRA_paper_16159.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert A. Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 1998. "Taxation and the Labor Supply: Decisions of the Affluent," NBER Working Papers 6621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
    3. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
    4. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
    5. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
    6. Daniel R. Feenberg & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High-Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 145-177 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(4), pages 773-788, December.
    8. James E. Long, 1999. "The Impact of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: Evidence from State Income Tax Differentials," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 855-869, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Looney & Monica Singhal, 2005. "The effect of anticipated tax changes on intertemporal labor supply and the realization of taxable income," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2010. "Hourly wage rate and taxable labor income responsiveness to changes in marginal tax rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 878-889, December.
    3. Heim, Bradley T., 2010. "The responsiveness of self-employment income to tax rate changes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 940-950, December.
    4. Neisser, Carina, 2017. "The elasticity of taxable income: A meta-regression analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-032, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. repec:ntj:journl:v:70:y:2017:i:2:p:367-392 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Giertz, Seth, 2008. "Panel Data Techniques and the Elasticity of Taxable Income," MPRA Paper 17600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Arrazola, María & de Hevia, José & Romero, Desiderio & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2014. "Personal Income Tax Reforms and the Elasticity of Reported Income to Marginal Tax Rates: An Empirical Analysis Applied to Spain," Working Paper Series 3593, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    8. 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.
    9. Carey, Simon & Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman & Teng, Josh, 2012. "Regression Estimates of the Elasticity of Taxable Income and the Choice of Instrument," Working Paper Series 2429, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    10. Schmidt, Thomas-Patrick & Müller, Heiko, 2012. "Die Elastizitat des zu versteuernden Einkommens in Deutschland: Eine empirische Untersuchung auf Basis des deutschen Taxpayer-Panels," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 132, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    11. Holmlund, Bertil & Söderström, Martin, 2007. "Estimating Income Responses to Tax Changes: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. 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.
    13. Nada, Eissa & Giertz, Seth, 2006. "Trends in High Incomes and Behavioral Responses to Taxation: Evidence from Executive Compensation and Statistics of Income Data," MPRA Paper 17604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Goldman, Dana P. & Lakdawalla, Darius N. & Zheng, Yuhui & Gailey, Adam H., 2012. "The value of medical and pharmaceutical interventions for reducing obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 630-643.
    15. José Félix Sanz-Sanz & María Arrazola-Vacas & Nuria Rueda-López & Desiderio Romero-Jordán, 2015. "Reported gross income and marginal tax rates: estimation of the behavioural reactions of Spanish taxpayers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 466-484, January.
    16. Bradley T. Heim, 2009. "The effect of recent tax changes on taxable income: Evidence from a new panel of tax returns," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 147-163.
    17. Giertz, Seth H., 2007. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income Over the 1980s and 1990s," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(4), pages 743-768, December.
    18. Giertz, Seth, 2006. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income During the 1990s: A Sensitivity Analysis," MPRA Paper 17603, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Giertz, Seth, 2005. "A Sensitivity Analysis of the Elasticity of Taxable Income," MPRA Paper 17601, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 33-55, Spring.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    taxable income; elasticity; tax revenue; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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