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Evidence on the insurance effect of marginal income taxes

Listed author(s):
  • Grant, Charles
  • Koulovatianos, Christos
  • Michaelides, Alexander
  • Padula, Mario

Marginal income taxes may have an insurance effect by decreasing the effective fluctuations of after-tax individual income. By compressing the idiosyncratic component o personal income fluctuations, higher marginal taxes should be negatively correlated with the dispersion of consumption across households, a necessary implication of an insurance effect of taxation. Our study empirically examines this negative correlation, exploiting the ample variation of state taxes across US states. We show that taxes are negatively correlated with the consumption dispersion of the within-state distribution of non-durable consumption and that this correlation is robust.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2008/06.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200806
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