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A data-driven procedure to determine the bunching window: An application to the Netherlands

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  • Dekker, Vincent
  • Strohmaier, Kristina
  • Bosch, Nicole

Abstract

This paper presents new empirical evidence on taxpayers' responsiveness to taxation by estimating the compensated elasticity of taxable income with respect to the net-of-tax rate in the Netherlands. Applying the bunching approach introduced by Saez (2010), we find small, but clear evidence of bunching behaviour at the thresholds of the Dutch tax schedule with a precise estimated elasticity of 0.023 at the upper threshold. In line with the literature, we find much larger estimates for women and self-employed individuals, but we can also identify significant bunching behaviour for wage employed individuals which we can attribute to tax deductions for couples. We add to the bunching literature by proposing to rely on the information criteria to determine the counterfactual model, as well as developing an intuitive, data-driven procedure to determine the bunching window.

Suggested Citation

  • Dekker, Vincent & Strohmaier, Kristina & Bosch, Nicole, 2016. "A data-driven procedure to determine the bunching window: An application to the Netherlands," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 05-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohdps:052016
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    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:41-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Tore Olsen & Luigi Pistaferri, 2011. "Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Micro vs. Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Danish Tax Records," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 749-804.
    4. Caroline Weber, 2016. "Does the Earned Income Tax Credit Reduce Saving by Low-Income Households?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 69(1), pages 41-76, March.
    5. repec:kap:decono:v:165:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9303-x is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bastani, Spencer & Selin, Håkan, 2014. "Bunching and non-bunching at kink points of the Swedish tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 36-49.
    7. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
    8. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2014. "Sufficient Statistic or Not? The Elasticity of Taxable Income in the Presence of Deduction Possibilities," IZA Discussion Papers 8554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2017. "The elasticity of taxable income in the presence of deduction possibilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 41-55.
    12. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, May.
    13. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2016. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting: what is “real” and what is not?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(4), pages 640-669, August.
    14. le Maire, Daniel & Schjerning, Bertel, 2013. "Tax bunching, income shifting and self-employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-18.
    15. Leon Bettendorf & Arjan Lejour & Maarten ’t Riet, 2017. "Tax Bunching by Owners of Small Corporations," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(4), pages 411-438, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:decono:v:165:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9303-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leon Bettendorf & Arjan Lejour & Maarten ’t Riet, 2017. "Tax Bunching by Owners of Small Corporations," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(4), pages 411-438, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elasticity of Taxable Income; Optimal Bunching Window;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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