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A "SECOND OPINION" ON THE ECONOMIC HEALTH OF THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS

Researchers considering levels and trends in the resources available to the middle class traditionally measure the pre-tax cash income of tax units or the pre-tax, post-transfer, size-adjusted income of households. Choices regarding the income measure and sharing unit to be analyzed, as well as othe... Full description

Journal Title: National tax journal 2012, Vol.65 (1), p.7-32
Main Author: Burkhauser, Richard V
Other Authors: Larrimore, Jeff , Simon, Kosali I
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Chicago: National Tax Association
ID: ISSN: 0028-0283
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recordid: cdi_proquest_journals_940915766
title: A "SECOND OPINION" ON THE ECONOMIC HEALTH OF THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS
format: Article
creator:
  • Burkhauser, Richard V
  • Larrimore, Jeff
  • Simon, Kosali I
subjects:
  • Americans
  • Economic fluctuations
  • Economic status
  • Family income
  • Federal taxes
  • Health insurance
  • Household income
  • Households
  • Income distribution
  • Income inequality
  • Income tax
  • Income taxes
  • Median income
  • Middle class
  • Middle classes
  • Studies
  • Tax deductions
  • Tax systems
  • Taxation
  • Trends
  • U.S.A
ispartof: National tax journal, 2012, Vol.65 (1), p.7-32
description: Researchers considering levels and trends in the resources available to the middle class traditionally measure the pre-tax cash income of tax units or the pre-tax, post-transfer, size-adjusted income of households. Choices regarding the income measure and sharing unit to be analyzed, as well as other methodological choices, carry significant implications for assessing income trends. In particular, we show that focusing on tax units rather than households and not adjusting for sharing unit size greatly reduces measured growth in middle class income, as does excluding the effect of taxes and the value of in-kind benefits. As an example, we demonstrate how much these distinctions change the observed distribution of benefits from the tax exclusion of employer provided health insurance.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0283
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0283
  • 1944-7477
url: Link


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descriptionResearchers considering levels and trends in the resources available to the middle class traditionally measure the pre-tax cash income of tax units or the pre-tax, post-transfer, size-adjusted income of households. Choices regarding the income measure and sharing unit to be analyzed, as well as other methodological choices, carry significant implications for assessing income trends. In particular, we show that focusing on tax units rather than households and not adjusting for sharing unit size greatly reduces measured growth in middle class income, as does excluding the effect of taxes and the value of in-kind benefits. As an example, we demonstrate how much these distinctions change the observed distribution of benefits from the tax exclusion of employer provided health insurance.
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subjectAmericans ; Economic fluctuations ; Economic status ; Family income ; Federal taxes ; Health insurance ; Household income ; Households ; Income distribution ; Income inequality ; Income tax ; Income taxes ; Median income ; Middle class ; Middle classes ; Studies ; Tax deductions ; Tax systems ; Taxation ; Trends ; U.S.A
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abstractResearchers considering levels and trends in the resources available to the middle class traditionally measure the pre-tax cash income of tax units or the pre-tax, post-transfer, size-adjusted income of households. Choices regarding the income measure and sharing unit to be analyzed, as well as other methodological choices, carry significant implications for assessing income trends. In particular, we show that focusing on tax units rather than households and not adjusting for sharing unit size greatly reduces measured growth in middle class income, as does excluding the effect of taxes and the value of in-kind benefits. As an example, we demonstrate how much these distinctions change the observed distribution of benefits from the tax exclusion of employer provided health insurance.
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