Six Tax Laws Later: How Individuals’ Marginal Federal Income Tax Rates Changed between 1980 and 1995
16 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014
Date Written: September 1998
We examine the evolution of marginal federal income tax rates from 1980 to 1995 using panel and crosssectional data. Marginal rates fell dramatically for most taxpayers. Whereas in 1980 three-quarters of taxpayers faced statutory tax rates above 15 percent, less than one-quarter of taxpayers were in that situation in 1995. Individuals’ tax rates also rose and fell due to life-cycle changes in income. Young people (age 30 to 44) were twice as likely to experience tax rate increases as older taxpayers. Nonetheless, the majority of taxpayers in every age group experienced rate reductions. The large marginal tax rate cuts in 1981 and 1986 clearly dominate life-cycle effects.
Keywords: federal income tax, marginal tax rates, tax policy
JEL Classification: H2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation