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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

Phased-in tax cuts and economic activity

Publication Abstract

House, C.L., and Matthew D. Shapiro. 2006. "Phased-in tax cuts and economic activity." American Economic Review, 96(5): 1835-1849.

This paper uses a dynamic general equilibrium model to analyze and quantify the aggregate effects of the timing of tax rate changes enacted in 2001 (which called for successive rate reductions through 2006) and 2003 (which made immediate tax rate cuts scheduled for 2004 and 2006). The phased-in nature contributed to the slow recovery from the 2001 recession, while the elimination of the phase-in helped explain the increase in economic activity in 2003. The simulations suggest while the tax policy was a drag on the economy in 2001 and 2002, it increased economic growth in 2003, once phase-ins were eliminated.

DOI:10.1257/aer.96.5.1835 (Full Text)

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