November 2018

IZA DP No. 11958: The Elasticity of Taxable Income: A Meta-Regression Analysis

The elasticities of taxable and broad income are key parameters in tax policy analysis. To examine the large variation in estimates found in the literature, I conduct a comprehensive meta-regression analysis using information from 51 studies containing 1,448 estimates. Heterogeneity in reported estimates is driven by regression techniques, sample restrictions and variations across countries and time. Moreover, I provide descriptive evidence of the correlation between contextual factors and the magnitude of an elasticity estimate. Selective reporting bias is prevalent in the literature and the direction of reporting bias depends on whether or not deductions are included in the tax base.