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Author:Lutz, Byron F. 

Discussion Paper
Quantifying the role of federal and state taxes in mitigating income inequality

Income inequality has risen dramatically in the United States since at least 1980. This paper quantifies the role that the tax policies of the federal and state governments have played in mitigating this income inequality. The analysis, which isolates the contribution of federal taxes and state taxes separately, employs two approaches. First, cross-sectional estimates compare before-tax and after-tax inequality across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Second, inequality estimates across time are calculated to assess the evolution of the effects of tax policies. The results from the ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 11-7

Working Paper
School desegregation, school choice and changes in residential location patterns by race

This paper examines the residential location and school choice responses to desegregation of large public school districts. Unique data and variation in the timing of desegregation orders facilitate the analysis. The 16 percent decline in white public enrollment due to desegregation primarily led to migration to suburban districts in the South and increased private enrollment in other regions. Desegregation caused black public enrollment to increase by 20 percent outside the South largely due to population changes. The spatial distributions of responses by race to desegregation orders closely ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-57

Working Paper
Post Brown vs. the Board of Education: the effects of the end of court-ordered desegregation

In the early 1990s, nearly forty years after Brown v. the Board of Education, three Supreme Court decisions dramatically altered the legal environment for court-ordered desegregation. Lower courts have released numerous school districts from their desegregation plans as a result. Over the same period racial segregation increased in public schools across the country -- a phenomenon which has been termed resegregation. Using a unique dataset, this paper finds that dismissal of a court-ordered desegregation plan results in a gradual, moderate increase in racial segregation and an increase in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2005-64

Working Paper
State and local finances and the macroeconomy: the high-employment budget and fiscal impetus

We examine the interplay of the economy and state and local budgets by developing and examining two measures of fiscal policy: the high-employment budget and fiscal impetus. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in cyclical GDP results in a 0.1 percentage point increase in NIPA-based net saving through the automatic response of taxes and expenditures. State and local budget policies are found to be modestly pro-cyclical. Stimulus to aggregate demand is about 0.2 percentage point less following a business cycle peak than it is during the period before the business cycle peak.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-05

Working Paper
Fiscal amenities, school finance reform and the supply side of the Tiebout market

This study asks if local governments which provide a high level of public services per tax dollar attract housing capital. The first portion of the paper examines large shifts in property tax burdens induced by an unusual school finance reform in the state of New Hampshire. The estimates suggest that, in most of the state, communities with a reduced tax burden experience a large increase in residential construction. In the area of the state near the region's primary urban center (Boston), however, the shock clears through a price adjustment--i.e. by capitalizing into property values. The ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-18

Working Paper
Quantifying the role of federal and state taxes in mitigating wage inequality

Wage inequality has risen dramatically in the United States since at least 1980. This paper quantifies the role that the tax policies of the federal and state governments have played in mitigating wage inequality. The analysis, which isolates the contribution of federal taxes and state taxes separately, employs two approaches. First, cross-sectional estimates compare before-tax and after-tax inequality across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Second, inequality estimates across time are calculated to assess the evolution of the effects of tax policies. The results from the first ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2012-05

Working Paper
Across the Universe: Policy Support for Employment and Revenue in the Pandemic Recession

Using data from 14 government sources, we develop comprehensive estimates of U.S. economic activity by sector, legal form of organization, and firm size to characterize how four government direct lending programs—the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program, the Corporate Credit Facilities, and the Municipal Lending Facilities—relate to these classes of economic activity in the United States. The classes targeted by these programs are vast—accounting for 97 percent of total U.S. employment—though entityspecific financial criteria limit coverage within specific ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-099r1

Working Paper
The connection between house price appreciation and property tax revenues

This paper explores two aspects of the connection between property tax revenues and house prices. First, I estimate the elasticity of property tax revenues with respect to house prices. This elasticity does not necessarily equal one as governments may adjust effective tax rates to offset changes in property values. Second, I examine the timing of the relationship. Institutional features of the property tax make it unlikely that changes in house prices will immediately influence tax revenues. The results suggest that the elasticity eventually equals 0.4 and that it takes three years for house ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-48

Working Paper
Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand in the U.S. Before, During and Following the Great Recession

We examine the effect of federal and subnational fiscal policy on aggregate demand in the U.S. by introducing the fiscal effect (FE) measure. FE can be decomposed into three components. Discretionary FE quantifies the effect of discretionary or legislated policy changes on aggregate demand. Cyclical FE captures the effect of the automatic stabilizers--changes in government taxes and spending arising from the business cycle. Residual FE measures the effect of all changes in government revenues and outlays which cannot be categorized as either discretionary or cyclical; for example, it captures ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-061

Working Paper
Taxation with representation: intergovernmental grants in a plebiscite democracy

Economic theory predicts that unconditional intergovernmental grant income and private income are perfectly fungible. Despite this prediction, the literature on fiscal federalism documents that grant and private income are empirically non-equivalent. A large scale school finance reform in New Hampshire--the typical school district experienced a 200 percent increase in grant income--provides an unusually compelling test of the equivalence prediction. Most theoretical explanations for non-equivalence focus on mechanisms which produce public good provision levels which differ from the decisive ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2006-06

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