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Taxpayer Reporting Responses and the Tax Reform Act of 1986


  • James Alm

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Sally Wallace

    () (Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)


This paper examines the effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on the reporting decisions of taxpayers, using microlevel information from the 1984 and 1989 Statistics of Income. We find that tax reform clearly mattered in the reporting decisions of individuals, with reporting elasticities that cluster between 0.3 and 0.7. However, our results also indicate that individuals' estimated responses vary in different ways for individuals with different income levels, in ways that differ by the types of incomes received by taxpayers, in ways that are sensitive to the estimation approach, and in ways that depend upon data adjustment methods.

Suggested Citation

  • James Alm & Sally Wallace, 2011. "Taxpayer Reporting Responses and the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Working Papers 1109, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1109

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
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    3. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1989. "Income tax evasion : An intersectoral analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 137-182, March.
    4. Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Alm, James & Bahl, Roy & Murray, Matthew N, 1991. "Tax Base Erosion in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(4), pages 849-872, July.
    6. Jung, Young H. & Snow, Arthur & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Tax evasion and the size of the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 391-402, July.
    7. Watson, Harry, 1985. "Tax evasion and labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 231-246, July.
    8. Thalmann, Philippe, 1992. "Factor taxes and evasion in general equilibrium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 259-283, June.
    9. Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1994. "A primer on static applied general equilibrium models," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-16.
    10. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 535-552, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eleni A. Kaditi & Elisavet I. Nitsi, 2013. "Recent Evidence on the Taxpayers’ Reporting Decision in Greece: A Quantile Regression Approach," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 3-24.

    More about this item


    Tax Reform Act of 1986; income reporting; taxable income elasticity; quantile regression;

    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
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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