A Guide to Tax Policy Analysis: Problems with Distributional Tax Tables

39 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2005

Date Written: January 2000


The analysis of tax policy and tax legislation can be "highly conjectural" and consequently more art than science. Tables and figures detailing revenue effects and distribution of burdens associated with projected outcomes of proposed tax legislation are often presented in ways that distort or fail to disclose information regarding the economic outcomes. Additionally, some of these tables are based on data sources that are statistically compromised and for which statistical measures of accuracy are impossible to calculate. Furthermore, the public is often not informed as to the limitations inherent in the information. Members of Congress, students of tax analysis, the media and ordinary citizens seeking to understand the economic effects of proposed tax legislation are inundated with revenue estimates and distributional tables that often obscure the economic issues and hinder the policy process.

Keywords: Tax, tax distribution, tax anlaysis, tax policy

JEL Classification: H2,

Suggested Citation

Fichtner, Jason J., A Guide to Tax Policy Analysis: Problems with Distributional Tax Tables (January 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=665261 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.665261

Jason J. Fichtner (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - SAIS ( email )

1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, DC 20036
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jasonjfichtner/

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