Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy

23 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2009 Last revised: 1 Apr 2015

See all articles by William Congdon

William Congdon

Brookings Institution

Jeffrey R. Kling

Government of the United States of America - Congressional Budget Office (CBO); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sendhil Mullainathan

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2009

Abstract

Behavioral economics is changing our understanding of how economic policy operates, including tax policy. In this paper, we consider some implications of behavioral economics for tax policy, such as how it changes our understanding of the welfare consequences of taxation, the relative desirability of using the tax system as a platform for policy implementation, and the role of taxes as an element of policy design. We do so by reviewing the logic of specific features of tax policy in light of recent findings in areas such as tax salience, program take-up, and fiscal stimulus.

Suggested Citation

Congdon, William and Kling, Jeffrey and Mullainathan, Sendhil, Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy (September 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15328. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1472266

William Congdon

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
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Jeffrey Kling (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Sendhil Mullainathan

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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617-876-2742 (Fax)

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