Tax bracket creep and its effects on income distribution
We quantitatively analyze the way inflation alters the inequality of the income distribution in the U.S. economy. The main mechanism emphasized in this paper is the bracket creep effect according to which inflation pushes income into higher tax brackets. Governments adjust the nominal income tax brackets slowly and incompletely due to the rise in prices. In the U.S. postwar history, this typically happens less often than once every other tax year. In the first part of the paper, we study time series from the U.S. economy. As our central result we find that irrespective of the level of inflation more frequent income tax schedule adjustments make the relationship between inflation and income inequality more transitory in nature. In the second part of the paper, we develop a general equilibrium monetary model with income heterogeneity that is in line with our time series evidence. We find that a longer duration between two successive adjustments of the tax schedule reduces employment, savings, and output.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.wifa.uni-leipzig.de/en/dekanat.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1999.
"Monetary policy and the well-being of the poor,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 21-49.
- Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1998. "Monetary policy and the well-being of the poor," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 159-201.
- Heer, Burkhard & Maußner, Alfred, 2012.
"The Burden Of Unanticipated Inflation: Analysis Of An Overlapping-Generations Model With Progressive Income Taxation And Staggered Prices,"
Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 278-308, April.
- Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maussner, 2006. "Business Cycle Dynamics of a New Keynesian Overlapping Generations Model with Progressive Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1692, CESifo Group Munich.
- Burkhard Heer; Alfred Maussner, 2005. "Distributional Effects of Monetary Policies in a New Neoclassical Model with Progressive Income Taxation," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 12, Society for Computational Economics.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128, February.
- Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987.
"A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
- Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
- Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001.
"LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power,"
Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
- Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999.
"Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
- Tom Doan, . "BKFILTER: RATS procedure to implement band pass filter using Baxter-King method," Statistical Software Components RTS00026, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ventura, Gustavo, 1999.
"Flat tax reform: A quantitative exploration,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1425-1458, September.
- Gustavo Ventura, . "Flat Tax Reform: A Quantitative Exploration," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 172, Society for Computational Economics.
- Ventura, G., 1997. "Flat Tax Reform: A Quantitative Exploration," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9706, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- A'Hearn, Brian & Woitek, Ulrich, 2001. "More international evidence on the historical properties of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-346, April.
- Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981.
"Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation,"
451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
- Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1998. "The Effect of Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts on Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 749-68, September.
- Ales Bulir & Anne Marie Gulde, 1995. "Inflation and Income Distribution; Further Evidenceon Empirical Links," IMF Working Papers 95/86, International Monetary Fund.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel Feenberg, 2000.
"The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers,"
NBER Working Papers
7662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 37-56, Summer.
- Blinder, Alan S & Esaki, Howard Y, 1978. "Macroeconomic Activity and Income Distribution in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 604-09, November.
- Saez, Emmanuel, 2003.
"The effect of marginal tax rates on income: a panel study of 'bracket creep',"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1231-1258, May.
- Emmanuel Saez, 1999. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Income: A Panel Study of 'Bracket Creep'," NBER Working Papers 7367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003.
"The Band Pass Filter,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band Pass Filter," NBER Working Papers 7257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band pass filter," Working Paper 9906, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Tom Doan, . "CFFILTER: RATS procedure to perform band pass filter using Christiano-Fitzgerald method," Statistical Software Components RTS00034, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
- Edward C. Prescott, 1986.
"Theory ahead of business cycle measurement,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
- Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
- Walde, Klaus & Woitek, Ulrich, 2004. "R&D expenditure in G7 countries and the implications for endogenous fluctuations and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 91-97, January.
- George Shultz & Chairman, 1998. "General discussion : monetary policy and the well-being of the poor," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 211-219.
- Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
- Shorrocks, A F, 1976. "Income Mobility and the Markov Assumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 566-78, September.
- Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A user's guide," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 533-540, May.
- David Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1991. "Bracket creep in the age of indexing: have we solved the problem?," Working Paper 9108, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- David Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1993. "Using bracket creep to raise revenue: a bad idea whose time has passed," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-11.
- Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
- Hansen, G D, 1993.
"The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked,"
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
- Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
- Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
- Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
- Javier Díaz-Giménez & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Dimensions of inequality: facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-21.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:leiwps:123. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.