NBER Working Papers by Dayanand S. Manoli

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Working Papers

November 2014Nudges and Learning: Evidence from Informational Interventions for Low-Income Taxpayers
with Nicholas Turner: w20718
Do informational interventions create one-time nudges or permanent changes in behavior? We study how taxpayers respond to informational interventions that alert them of their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit using population-level administrative tax data. The empirical analysis is based on a natural experiment in 2005, a randomized experiment in 2009, and quasi-random audits between 2006 and 2009. The evidence from each of these settings indicates that the informational interventions cause economically significant increases in EITC take-up in the short-term, but there are little to no long-term increases in EITC take-up.
January 2014Cash-on-Hand & College Enrollment: Evidence from Population Tax Data and Policy Nonlinearities
with Nicholas Turner: w19836
In this paper, we estimate the causal effects of tax refunds (cash-on-hand) on college enrollment using population-level administrative data from United States income tax returns. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in tax refunds around two kink points in the federal income tax code, including the first kink point in the Earned Income Tax Credit benefit schedule and the 15%-25% tax bracket kink point. Non-parametric graphical evidence suggests that differences in tax refunds across these tax kink points have meaningful effects on enrollment. Using a Regression Kink Design, our results indicate that a $1,000 increase in tax refunds received in the spring of the high school senior year increases college enrollment the next fall by roughly 2 to 3 percentage points. The magnitude of ...
August 2011Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions
with Andrea Weber: w17320
This paper presents new empirical evidence on the effects of retirement benefits on labor force participation decisions. We use administrative data on the census of private sector employees in Austria and variation from mandated discontinuous changes in retirement benefits from the Austrian pension system. We present graphical evidence documenting labor supply responses to the policy discontinuities. Next, we develop nonparametric procedures to estimate labor supply elasticities based on the graphical evidence and mandated financial incentives. We estimate elasticities of 0.12 for men and 0.38 for women. These relatively low elasticities highlight that many retirement decisions are likely to be affected by factors beyond only financial incentives from retirement benefits.
January 2011Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference Between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities
with Raj Chetty, Adam Guren, Andrea Weber: w16729
Macroeconomic calibrations imply much larger labor supply elasticities than microeconometric studies. One prominent explanation for this divergence is that indivisible labor generates extensive margin responses that are not captured in micro studies of hours choices. We evaluate whether existing calibrations of macro models are consistent with micro evidence on extensive margin responses using two approaches. First, we use a standard calibrated macro model to simulate the impacts of tax policy changes on labor supply. Second, we present a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental estimates of extensive margin elasticities. We find that micro estimates are consistent with macro evidence on the steady-state (Hicksian) elasticities relevant for cross-country comparisons. However, micro estimates of...


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