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The impact of taxes on income mobility

Alloza, Mario (2016) The impact of taxes on income mobility. CFM discussion paper series (CFM-DP2016-32). Centre For Macroeconomics, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper investigates how taxes affect relative mobility in the income distribution in the US. Household panel data drawn from the PSID between 1967 and 1996 is employed to analyse the relationship between marginal tax rates and the probability of staying in the same income decile. Exogenous variation in marginal tax rates is identified by using counterfactual rates based on legislated changes in the tax schedule. I find that higher marginal tax rates reduce income mobility. An increase in one percentage point in marginal tax rates causes a decline of around 0.8% in the probability of changing to a different income decile. Tax reforms that reduce marginal rates by 7 percentage points are estimated to account for around a tenth of the average movements in the income distribution in a year. Additional results suggest that the effect of taxes on income mobility differs according to the level of human capital and that it is particularly significant when considering mobility at the bottom of the distribution.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Macroeconomics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E24 - Macroeconomics: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution (includes wage indexation)
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook > E62 - Fiscal Policy; Public Expenditures, Investment, and Finance; Taxation
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H24 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
H - Public Economics > H3 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents > H31 - Household
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Macroeconomics
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 12:08
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2019 00:04
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86178

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