Working Paper

Estimating Taxable Income Responses with Elasticity Heterogeneity

Abstract: We extend a standard taxable income model with its typical functional-form assumptions to account for nonlinear budget sets. We propose a new method to estimate taxable income elasticity that is more policy relevant than the typically estimated elasticity based on linearized budget sets. Using U.S. data from the NBER tax panel for 1979-1990 and differencing methods, we estimate an elasticity of 0.75 for taxable income and 0.20 for broad income. These estimates are higher than those obtained by specifications based on linearization. Our approach offers a new way to address the problem of endogenous observed marginal tax rates.

Keywords: taxable income; nonlinear budget sets; panel data;

JEL Classification: D11; H24; J22;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2018-03-02

Number: 1611

Pages: 33 pages

Note: The original version of the paper circulated as “The Taxable Income Elasticity: A Structural Differencing Approach."