Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Trade Union Institute for Economic Research

No 177: Taxable Income Responses to Tax Changes - A Panel Analysis of the 1990/91 Swedish Reform

Jan Selén
Additional contact information
Jan Selén: Trade Union Institute for Economic Research, Postal: FIEF, Wallingatan 38, SE-111 24 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The elasticity of taxable income indicates the effects on income from a change in the marginal tax rate. In a number of studies on U.S. data rather strong effects have been found, although estimates seem lower in more recent papers. Studies based on data from other countries are only a few and indicate lower effects. A difference-in-differences approach utilising differences in tax changes is the standard approach for analysis. Here a large Swedish tax reform is employed. Estimated effects of a tax cut are modest, in the interval 0.2 to 0.4 at the most. Problems of income variables and income groups for the analysis are extensively examined. According to an extended model there is a positive income effect of the tax change, implying a difference between the compensated and the uncompensated elasticity, contrary to earlier results for the U. S.

Keywords: Tax reform; taxable income elasticity; difference in differences

JEL-codes: H21; H24

30 pages, August 7, 2002

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