Work Hours & Income Tax Cuts: Evidence from Federal-State Tax Interactions

Michael Simkovic & Eric Allen, Work Hours and Income Tax Cuts: Evidence from Federal-State Tax Interactions, 25 Florida Tax Review (2021)

USC CLASS Research Paper Series No. CLASS21-23

USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 21-23

37 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Apr 2021

See all articles by Michael Simkovic

Michael Simkovic

University of Southern California Gould School of Law; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Eric J. Allen

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - School of Business Administration

Date Written: April 23, 2021

Abstract

We investigate how income tax reductions affect work hours. Our empirical strategy relies on the fact that, in states where taxpayers can deduct federal tax payments from state taxable income, federal tax changes are dampened. We study 2003 tax reforms (JGTRRA) that dramatically reduced federal tax rates on dividends and capital gains, and moderately reduced rates on ordinary income. Diff-in-Diff analysis indicates that work hours decreased most among high income and wealthy taxpayers who were most directly affected by the tax reductions. The decrease in hours was larger for residents of states in which the effective tax reductions were larger. Conversely, we find possible evidence that larger ordinary income tax rate reductions in the 1980s, accompanied by effective tax increases on capital gains, had the opposite effect and induced an increase in work hours. These results suggest that the effect of tax reductions may depend on the type of income targeted.

Keywords: income tax, tax, work hours, labor supply, optimal tax, deduction, diff-in-diff, dividend tax, capital gains, ordinary income, wealth tax, income effect, substitution effect, JGTRRA, Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, Tax Reform, 1980s tax reform, marginal tax rate, tax cut

JEL Classification: C2, D13, E62, E65, H2, H24, H21, H31, H73, J22, J38, K34

Suggested Citation

Simkovic, Michael and Allen, Eric J., Work Hours & Income Tax Cuts: Evidence from Federal-State Tax Interactions (April 23, 2021). Michael Simkovic & Eric Allen, Work Hours and Income Tax Cuts: Evidence from Federal-State Tax Interactions, 25 Florida Tax Review (2021), USC CLASS Research Paper Series No. CLASS21-23, USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 21-23, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3833091

Michael Simkovic

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Eric J. Allen (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - School of Business Administration ( email )

United States

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