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Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation

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.

300 pages | 11 line drawings, 57 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1996

National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report

Economics and Business: Economics--Government Finance

Table of Contents

Martin Feldstein, James M. Poterba.
1: Labor Supply and the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981
Nada Eissa
Comment: James J. Heckman
2: The Taxation of Two-Earner Families
Martin Feldstein, Daniel R. Feenberg.
Comment: Harvey S. Rosen
3: Labor Supply and Welfare Effects of a Shift from Income to Consumption Taxation
Gilbert E. Metcalf
Comment: Gary Burtless
4: The Distributional Effects of the Tax Treatment of Child Care Expenses
William M. Gentry, Alison P. Hagy.
Comment: Brigitte C. Madrian
5: Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance
Jonathan Gruber, James M. Poterba.
Comment: David F. Bradford
6: High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response
Joel Slemrod
Comment: Don Fullerton
7: Tax Shelters and Passive Losses after the Tax Reform Act of 1986
Andrew A. Samwick
Comment: Roger H. Gordon
8: The Relationship between State and Federal Tax Audits
James Alm, Brian Erard, Jonathan S. Feinstein.
Comment: James W. Wetzler
Author Index
Subject Index

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