Tax Projections and the Budget: Lessons from the 1980s

16 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2000 Last revised: 20 Sep 2010

See all articles by Alan J. Auerbach

Alan J. Auerbach

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: February 1995

Abstract

Some economists have argued that the disincentive effects of marginal tax rate increases in the 1980s caused revenue to rise by less than had been anticipated. To evaluate the hypothesis, this paper considers OMB revenue forecasts and forecast errors for the period 1982-93. If the revenue gains from tax increases, and the revenue losses from tax cuts, were overstated because of inadequate allowance for behavioral responses, then the forecast errors should be negatively related to the initial revenue estimates of the impact of policy changes. For excise taxes and corporate income taxes, the results suggest that the systematic overprediction of revenues during the period can be explained in part by an underestimate of behavioral responses to taxation.

Suggested Citation

Auerbach, Alan Jeffrey, Tax Projections and the Budget: Lessons from the 1980s (February 1995). NBER Working Paper No. w5009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225788

Alan Jeffrey Auerbach (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

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