NBER Working Papers by Nicholas Turner

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers

November 2014Nudges and Learning: Evidence from Informational Interventions for Low-Income Taxpayers
with Dayanand S. Manoli: 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 Dayanand S. Manoli: 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 ...
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 ...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us