Did the 2001 Tax Rebate Stimulate Spending? Evidence from Taxpayer Surveys
38 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2002
Date Written: November 2002
In 2001, many households received rebate checks as advanced payments of the benefit of the new, 10 percent federal income tax bracket. A survey conducted at the time the rebates were mailed finds that few households said that the rebate led them mostly to increase spending. A follow-up survey in 2002, as well as a similar survey conducted after the attacks of 9/11, also indicates low spending rates. This paper investigates the robustness of these survey responses and assesses whether such surveys are useful for policy evaluation. It also draws lessons from the surveys for macroeconomic analysis of the tax rebate.
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