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Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income in Multi-Rate Income Tax Structures

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  • Creedy, John
  • Gemmell, Norman

Abstract

The empirical literature on the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) sometimes questions whether estimated values are consistent with being on the revenueincreasing section of the Laffer curve, usually in the context of a single rate tax system or for top marginal rates. This paper develops conceptual expressions for this ‘Laffer-maximum’ or revenue-maximising ETI for the multi-rate income tax systems commonly used in practice. Using the New Zealand income tax system in 2010 to illustrate its properties, the paper demonstrates that a wide range of revenue-maximising ETI values can be expected across individual taxpayers, across tax brackets and in aggregate.

Suggested Citation

  • Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2012. "Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income in Multi-Rate Income Tax Structures," Working Paper Series 2431, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwcpf:2431
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    File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/2431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Creedy, 1998. "The Optimal Linear Income Tax Model: Utility or Equivalent Income?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 99-110, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Seth H. Giertz, 2010. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income during the 1990s: New Estimates and Sensitivity Analyses," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 406-433, October.
    6. Martin Feldstein, 2012. "The Mirrlees Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 781-790, September.
    7. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    8. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2002. "The Built-In Flexibility of Income and Consumption Taxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 509-532, September.
    9. Austan Goolsbee, 1999. "Evidence on the High-Income Laffer Curve from Six Decades of Tax Reform," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 1-64.
    10. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    11. 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.
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    13. 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.
    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Acheson, Jean & Deli, Yota & Lambert, Derek & Morgenroth, Edgar, 2017. "Income tax revenue elasticities in Ireland: an analytical approach," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS59.
    3. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2015. "Revenue-maximising tax rates and elasticities of taxable income inNew Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 189-206, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income Tax Revenue; Elasticity of taxable income; revenue elasticity; Laffer Curve;
    All these keywords.

    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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