NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Estimating the Revenue Maximizing Top Personal Tax Rate

Lawrence B. Lindsey

NBER Working Paper No. 1761
Issued in October 1985
NBER Program(s):   PE

The idea that marginal tax rates and tax revenue may be inversely related is at least as old as Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. The emergence of the "Laffer Curve" in the modern public debate on the subject has rekindled interestin this idea. The present paper uses data from the 1982 tax rate reductions to estimate the revenue maximizing top personal tax rate.This paper also examines the components of taxable income to consider the sources of taxpayer response to changes in marginal tax rates. The National Bureau of Economic Research TAXSIM model was used extensively in this study to estimate the magnitude of taxpayer response to tax rate changes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1761

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