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How does tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?

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Listed:
  • Holter, Hans A.
  • Krueger, Dirk
  • Stepanchuk, Serhiy

Abstract

How much additional tax revenue can the government generate by increasing labor income taxes? In this paper we provide a quantitative answer to this question, and study the importance of the progressivity of the tax schedule for the ability of the government to generate tax revenues. We develop a rich overlapping generations model featuring an explicit family structure, extensive and intensive margins of labor supply, endogenous accumulation of labor market experience as well as standard intertemporal consumption-savings choices in the presence of uninsurable idiosyncratic labor productivity risk. We calibrate the model to US macro, micro and tax data and characterize the labor income tax Laffer curve under the current choice of the progressivity of the labor income tax code as well as when varying progressivity. We find that more progressive labor income taxes significantly reduce tax revenues. For the US, converting to a flat tax code raises the peak of the Laffer curve by 6%, whereas converting to a tax system with progressivity similar to Denmark would lower the peak by 7%. We also show that, relative to a representative agent economy tax revenues are less sensitive to the progressivity of the tax code in our economy. This finding is due to the fact that labor supply of two earner households is less elastic (along the intensive margin) and the endogenous accumulation of labor market experience makes labor supply of females less elastic (around the extensive margin) to changes in tax progressivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Holter, Hans A. & Krueger, Dirk & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2014. "How does tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," CFS Working Paper Series 490, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:490
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High Marginal Tax Rates on the Top 1%? Lessons from a Life Cycle Model with Idiosyncratic Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 10208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CeBER Working Papers 2017-11, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    3. Cubas, German & Silos, Pedro, 2017. "Social Insurance and Occupational Mobility," MPRA Paper 83020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    5. Exler, Florian, 2015. "Personal bankruptcy and wage garnishment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113219, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. José Ramón García & Valeri Sorolla, 2016. "The Calmfors-Driffill Hypothesis with Labour Market Frictions and Regulated Goods Markets," Working Papers 889, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. repec:red:issued:16-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Brinca, Pedro & Holter, Hans A. & Krusell, Per & Malafry, Laurence, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in the 21st century," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 53-69.
    9. Christine Ma & Chung Tran, 2016. "Fiscal Space under Demographic Shift," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-642, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    10. Eric M. Leeper, 2015. "Fiscal Analysis is Darned Hard," NBER Working Papers 21822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Carroll, Daniel R. & Dolmas, James & Young, Eric R., 2015. "Majority Voting: A Quantitative Investigation," Working Paper 1442, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    12. Froemel, M. & Gottlieb, C., 2016. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Targeting the Poor but Crowding Out Wealth," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1651, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    14. Stanisław Cichocki & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2016. "The evolution of the Laffer curve as a framework for studying tax evasion: from simple theoretical to DSGE models," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 45.
    15. Kazuki Hiraga & Kengo Nutahara, 2016. "When is the Laffer Curve for Consumption Tax Hump-Shaped?," CIGS Working Paper Series 16-002E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    16. Kocharkov, Georgi & Mellert, Jan & Filote, Andra, 2015. "Teenage Childbearing and the Welfare State," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113116, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Bo Hyun Chang & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2016. "Pareto Weights in Practice: A Quantitative Analysis Across 32 OECD Countries," Working papers 2016rwp-92, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    18. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High marginal tax rates on the top 1%?," CFS Working Paper Series 473, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    19. repec:spr:jecstr:v:7:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40008-018-0117-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Progressive Taxation; Fiscal Policy; Laffer Curve; Government Debt;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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