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Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy

Congdon, William J., Kling, Jeffrey R., and Mullainathan, Sendhil

Abstract:

Behavioral economics is changing our understanding of how economic policy operates, including tax policy. In this paper, we consider some implications of behavioral economics for tax policy, such as how it changes our understanding of the welfare consequences of taxation, the relative desirability of using the tax system as a platform for policy implementation, and the role of taxes as an element of policy design. We do so by reviewing the logic of specific features of tax policy in light of recent findings in areas such as tax salience, program take-up, and fiscal stimulus.

Citation

Congdon, William J., Kling, Jeffrey R., and Mullainathan, Sendhil (2009), Behavioral Economics and Tax Policy, National Tax Journal, 62:3, pp. 375-86

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2009.3.01