Are Elasticities of Taxable Income Rising?
23 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018
Date Written: June 2018
This paper assesses a possible explanation for the global downward trend in top personal income tax rates over the last decades: globalization and the related tax evasion and avoidance opportunities could have raised elasticities of taxable income, which would imply lower optimal tax rates. The paper estimates elasticities of taxable income for top income earners using a large sample of economies and years with a common method, allowing an analysis of trends in such elasticities. The paper finds that elasticities do not appear to exhibit any clear pattern over the years. The downward trend in tax rates must have other possible explanations, which are briefly discussed.
Keywords: Personal income taxes, Tax rates, Tax elasticity, Progressive taxation, Optimal taxation, Globalization, Optimal tax; Elasticity of taxable income; Tax Progressivity; Progressive Taxation, Optimal tax, Elasticity of taxable income, Tax Progressivity, Progressive Taxation, Incidence
JEL Classification: H21, H22, H24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation