NBER Working Papers by Nicholas Turner

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Working Papers

November 2014Nudges and Learning: Evidence from Informational Interventions for Low-Income Taxpayers
with Dayanand S. Manoli: w20718
Can one-time informational interventions cause permanent changes in benefit take-up? In the context the Earned Income Tax Credit, we find evidence that reminding individuals of their eligibility has meaningful effects. Reminder notices have the largest effect among taxpayers without kids, persuading nearly 80 percent of taxpayers in the notice year to claim the credit. The effect of the notice quickly attenuates to roughly 22 percent only one year later. We find that this pattern holds across two experimental settings, one that tests the effect of being sent a notice and one that tests variations in the content of the notices.
January 2014Cash-on-Hand & College Enrollment: Evidence from Population Tax Data and Policy Nonlinearities
with Dayanand S. Manoli: w19836
We estimate causal effects of tax refunds (cash-on-hand) on college enrollment using population-level administrative data from United States income tax returns. We implement two separate research designs based on tax refunds from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). First, we exploit a nonlinearity in the tax refund schedule that results from the kink point between the phase-in and maximum credit portions of the schedule. Second, we use policy expansions in the EITC phase-out region. Both approaches yield similar results that suggest tax refunds received in the spring of the high school senior year have meaningful effects on college enrollment.
Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility
with Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez: w19844
We present new evidence on trends in intergenerational mobility in the U.S. using administrative earnings records. We find that percentile rank-based measures of intergenerational mobility have remained extremely stable for the 1971-1993 birth cohorts. For children born between 1971 and 1986, we measure intergenerational mobility based on the correlation between parent and child income percentile ranks. For more recent cohorts, we measure mobility as the correlation between a child's probability of attending college and her parents' income rank. We also calculate transition probabilities, such as a child's chances of reaching the top quintile of the income distribution starting from the bottom quintile. Based on all of these measures, we find that children entering the labor market today h...

Published: Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 141-47, May. citation courtesy of

August 2013New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth
with Sara LaLumia, James M. Sallee: w19283
This paper uses data from the universe of tax returns filed between 2001 and 2010 to test whether parents shift the timing of childbirth around the New Year to gain tax benefits. Filers have an incentive to shift births from early January into late December, through induction or cesarean delivery, because child-related tax benefits are not prorated. We find evidence of a positive, but very small, effect of tax incentives on birth timing. An additional $1000 of tax benefits increases the probability of a late-December birth by only about 1 percentage point. We argue that the response to tax incentives is small in part because of confusion about eligibility and delays in the issuance of Social Security Numbers for newborns, as well as a lack of control over medical procedures on the part of ...

Published: Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-93, May. citation courtesy of

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