NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending

Alan S. Blinder

NBER Working Paper No. 283 (Also Reprint No. r0161)
Issued in May 1981
NBER Program(s):   EFG

Both economic theory and casual empirical observation of the U.S. economy suggest that spending propensities from temporary tax changes are smaller than those from permanent ones, but neither provides much guidance about the magnitude of this difference. This paper offers new empirical estimates of this difference and finds it to he quite substantial. The analysis is based on an amendment of the standard distributed lag version of the permanent in-conic hypothesis that distinguishes temporary taxes from other income on the grounds that the former are "more transitory." This amendment, which is broadly consistent with rational expectations, leads to a nonlinear consumption function. Though the standard error is unavoidably large, the point estimate suggests that a temporary tax change is treated as a 50-50 blend of a normal income tax change and a pure windfall. Over a 1-year planning horizon, a temporary tax change is estimated to have only a little more than half the impact of a permanent tax change of equal magnitude, and a rebate is estimated to have only about 38 percent of the impact.

download in pdf format
   (362 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (362 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0283

Published: Blinder, Alan S. "Temporary Income Taxes and Consumer Spending."Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 89, No. 1, (February 1981), pp. 26-53.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Abadie and Imbens t0283 Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects
Agarwal, Liu, and Souleles w13694 The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates -- Evidence from Consumer Credit Data
Shapiro and Slemrod w8672 Consumer Response to Tax Rebates
Campbell and Mankiw w2436 Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption
Romer and Romer w13264 The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us