Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation

University of Chicago Press
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Tax policy debates—and reforms—depend heavily on estimates of how alternative tax rules would affect behavior. Yet there is considerable controversy about the key empirical links among tax rates, household decisions, and revenue collections.

The nine papers in this volume exploit the substantial variation in U.S. tax policy during the last two decades to investigate how taxes affect a range of household behavior, including labor-force participation, saving behavior, choice of health insurance plan, choice of child care arrangements, portfolio choice, and tax evasion. They also present new analytical results on the effects of different types of tax policy. All of this research relies on household-level data—drawn either from public-use tax return files or from large household-level surveys—to explore various aspects of the relationship between taxes and household behavior.

As debates about the effects of proposed tax reforms continue in the 1990s, this volume will be of interest to policy makers and scholars in the field of public finance.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 15, 2008
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9780226241906
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Taxation / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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These thirteen papers and accompanying commentaries are the first fruits of an ongoing research project that has concentrated on developing simulation models that incorporate the behavioral responses of individuals and businesses to alternative tax rules and rates and on expanding computational general equilibrium models that analyze the long-run effects of changes on the economy as a whole.

The principal focus of the project has been on the microsimulation of individual behavior. Thus, this volume includes studies of individual responses to an over reduction in tax rates and to changes in the highest tax rates; a study of alternative tax treatments of the family; and studies of such specific aspects of household behavior as tax treatment of home ownership, charitable contributions, and individual saving behavior. Microsimulation techniques are also used to estimate the effects of alternative policies on the long-run financial status of the social security program and to examine the effects of alternative tax rules on corporate investment and of foreign-source income on overseas investment.

The papers devoted to the development of general equilibrium simulation models to include an examination of the implications of international trade and capital flows, a study of the effects of capital taxation that uses a closed economy equilibrium model, and an examination of the effect of switching to an inflation-indexed tax system. In the volume's final paper, a life-cycle model in which individuals maximize lifetime utility subject to a lifetime budget constraint is used to simulate the effects of tax rules on personal savings.
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