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The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review

This paper critically surveys the large and growing literature estimating the elasticity of taxable income with respect to marginal tax rates using tax return data. First, we provide a theoretical framework showing under what assumptions this elasticity can be used as a sufficient statistic for effi... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of Economic Literature 2012, Vol.50 (1), p.3-50
Main Author: Saez, Emmanuel
Other Authors: Slemrod, Joel , Giertz, Seth H
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Nashville: American Economic Association
ID: ISSN: 0022-0515
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_1021120433
title: The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review
format: Article
creator:
  • Saez, Emmanuel
  • Slemrod, Joel
  • Giertz, Seth H
subjects:
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Analysis
  • Capital gains
  • Consumption
  • Corporate income taxes
  • Corporate taxes
  • Critical theory
  • Earnings
  • Economic aspects
  • Economic theory
  • Economics
  • Effective income tax rates
  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity (Economics)
  • Elasticity of demand
  • Empirical research
  • Estimated taxes
  • Externality
  • Financial research
  • Fiscal policy
  • Income elasticity
  • Income estimates
  • Income shifting
  • Income tax
  • Income taxes
  • Labor supply
  • Marginal tax rate
  • Public sector
  • State income tax
  • Studies
  • Tax base
  • Tax increases
  • Tax rates
  • Tax reform
  • Tax returns
  • Taxable income
  • Taxation
  • U.S.A
ispartof: Journal of Economic Literature, 2012, Vol.50 (1), p.3-50
description: This paper critically surveys the large and growing literature estimating the elasticity of taxable income with respect to marginal tax rates using tax return data. First, we provide a theoretical framework showing under what assumptions this elasticity can be used as a sufficient statistic for efficiency and optimal tax analysis. We discuss what other parameters should be estimated when the elasticity is not a sufficient statistic. Second, we discuss conceptually the key issues that arise in the empirical estimation of the elasticity of taxable income using the example of the 1993 top individual income tax rate increase in the United States to illustrate those issues. Third, we provide a critical discussion of selected empirical analyses of the elasticity of taxable income in light of the theoretical and empirical framework we laid out. Finally, we discuss avenues for future research.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0022-0515
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0022-0515
  • 2328-8175
url: Link


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descriptionThis paper critically surveys the large and growing literature estimating the elasticity of taxable income with respect to marginal tax rates using tax return data. First, we provide a theoretical framework showing under what assumptions this elasticity can be used as a sufficient statistic for efficiency and optimal tax analysis. We discuss what other parameters should be estimated when the elasticity is not a sufficient statistic. Second, we discuss conceptually the key issues that arise in the empirical estimation of the elasticity of taxable income using the example of the 1993 top individual income tax rate increase in the United States to illustrate those issues. Third, we provide a critical discussion of selected empirical analyses of the elasticity of taxable income in light of the theoretical and empirical framework we laid out. Finally, we discuss avenues for future research.
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subjectAdjusted gross income ; Analysis ; Capital gains ; Consumption ; Corporate income taxes ; Corporate taxes ; Critical theory ; Earnings ; Economic aspects ; Economic theory ; Economics ; Effective income tax rates ; Elasticity ; Elasticity (Economics) ; Elasticity of demand ; Empirical research ; Estimated taxes ; Externality ; Financial research ; Fiscal policy ; Income elasticity ; Income estimates ; Income shifting ; Income tax ; Income taxes ; Labor supply ; Marginal tax rate ; Public sector ; State income tax ; Studies ; Tax base ; Tax increases ; Tax rates ; Tax reform ; Tax returns ; Taxable income ; Taxation ; U.S.A
ispartofJournal of Economic Literature, 2012, Vol.50 (1), p.3-50
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21Income estimates
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1Analysis
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25Labor supply
26Marginal tax rate
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31Tax increases
32Tax rates
33Tax reform
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abstractThis paper critically surveys the large and growing literature estimating the elasticity of taxable income with respect to marginal tax rates using tax return data. First, we provide a theoretical framework showing under what assumptions this elasticity can be used as a sufficient statistic for efficiency and optimal tax analysis. We discuss what other parameters should be estimated when the elasticity is not a sufficient statistic. Second, we discuss conceptually the key issues that arise in the empirical estimation of the elasticity of taxable income using the example of the 1993 top individual income tax rate increase in the United States to illustrate those issues. Third, we provide a critical discussion of selected empirical analyses of the elasticity of taxable income in light of the theoretical and empirical framework we laid out. Finally, we discuss avenues for future research.
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