31 results for Creedy, John, Scholarly text

  • Measuring Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income: Evidence for the US Income Tax

    Creedy, John; Gemmell, Norman (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A recent review of empirical estimates of the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) concluded that ‘the US marginal top rate is far from the top of the Laffer curve’ (Saez et al, 2012, p.42). This paper provides a detailed examination of the analysis underlying this conclusion, and considers whether other tax rates in the US income tax system are on the ‘right’ side of the Laffer curve. Conceptual expressions for ‘Laffer-maximum’ or revenue-maximizing ETIs, based on readily observable parameters, are presented for individuals and groups of taxpayers in a multi-rate income tax system. Applying these to the US income tax in 2005, with its complex effective marginal rate structure, demonstrates that a wide range of revenue-maximizing ETI values can be expected for individual taxpayers within and across tax brackets, and in aggregate. For many taxpayers these revenue-maximizing ETIs are well within the range of empirically estimated elasticities.

    View record details
  • A note on Inequality-Preserving Distributional Changes

    Creedy, John (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This note considers the problem of distributing a fixed amount of money (‘income’) among a given number of people, such that inequality (measured by either the Gini or Atkinson measure) takes a specified value. It is well known that simultaneous equations admit of many solutions where the number of variables exceeds that of equations (constraints). However, the approach examines cases where there are just one or two degrees of freedom, clarifying the resulting range of distributions. The properties of simultaneous disequalising and equalising transfers are discussed.

    View record details
  • Reflections on the Report by the Tax Working Group presented by Professor John Creedy

    Creedy, John (2010)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Professor John Creedy presents his reflections on the Tax Working Group Report (Report available here.) John presents his findings to a Wellington audience on Tuesday 23 February and in Auckland on Thursday 25 February.

    View record details
  • Income redistribution and changes in inequality in New Zealand from 2007 to 2011: Alternative distributions and value judgements

    Creedy, John; Eedrah, Jesse (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper illustrates the effects of using different distributions and summary measures, using New Zealand data for the period 2007 to 2011. Using an annual accounting period, alternative welfare metrics and units of analysis are investigated. In addition, the sensitivity to assumptions about economies of scale within households is examined, and changes in inequality are decomposed into those arising from population and tax structure changes. When considering the period 2007 to 2010 all measures agree that inequality fell, although the extent of the reduction varies. For the period 2007 to 2011 (after the tax reforms of 2010) the answer to the question of whether inequality in New Zealand has risen or fallen depends crucially on the combination of welfare metric, income unit, adult equivalent scale and inequality measure used. In empirical studies it is therefore important to explore a wide range of alternative approaches, providing information for readers to make their own judgements.

    View record details
  • Interpreting Inequality Measures and Changes in Inequality

    Creedy, John (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper explores, in the context of the Atkinson inequality measure, attempts to make interpretations of orders of magnitude transparent. One suggestion is that the analogy of sharing a cake among a very small number of people provides a useful intuitive description for people who want some idea of what an inequality measure ‘actually means’. In contrast with the Gini measure, for which a simple ‘cake-sharing’ result is available, the Atkinson measure requires a nonlinear equation to be solved. Comparisons of ‘excess shares’ (the share obtained by the richer person in excess of the arithmetic mean) for a range of assumptions are provided. The implications for the ‘leaky bucket’ experiments are also examined. An additional approach is to obtain the ‘pivotal income’, above which a small increase for any individual increases inequality. The properties of this measure for the Atkinson index are also explored.

    View record details
  • The Welfare Gain from a New Good: An Introduction

    Creedy, John (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This note provides an elementary introduction to the measurement of welfare gains from the introduction of a new good, based on the concept of the ‘virtual price’ and standard expressions for welfare changes arising from price changes.

    View record details
  • Pensions, Savings and Housing: A Life-cycle Framework with Policy Simulations

    Creedy, John; Gemmell, Norman; Scobie, Grant (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The objective of the paper is to explore the saving and consumption responses of a representative household to a range of policy interventions such as changes in taxes and pension settings. To achieve this, it develops a two-period life-cycle model. The representative household maximises lifetime utility through its choice of optimal levels of consumption, housing and saving. A key feature of the approach is modelling the consumption of housing services as a separate good in retirement along with the implications for saving. Importantly, the model incorporates a government budget constraint involving a pay-as-you-go universal pension. In addition, the model allows for a compulsory private retirement savings scheme. Particular attention in the simulations is given to the potential impact on household saving rates of a range of policy changes. Typically the effect on saving rates is modest. In most instances, it would take very substantial changes in existing policy settings to induce significant increases in household saving rates.

    View record details
  • Long-run Fiscal Projections under Uncertainty: The Case of New Zealand

    Ball, Christopher; Creedy, John; Scobie, Grant (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper introduces uncertainty into a fiscal projection model which incorporates population ageing along with a number of feedback effects. When fiscal policy responds in order to achieve a target debt ratio, feedback effects modify the intended outcomes. The feedbacks include the effect on labour supply in response to changes in tax rates, changes in the country risk premium in response to higher public debt ratios, endogenous changes in the rate of productivity growth and savings. Stochastic projections of a range of policy responses are produced, allowing for uncertainty regarding the world interest rate, productivity growth and the growth rates of two components of per capita government expenditure. The probability of exceeding a given debt ratio in each projection year, using a particular tax or expenditure policy,can then be evaluated. Policy implications are briefly discussed.

    View record details
  • Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14*

    Ball, Christopher; Creedy, John (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper provides an empirical analysis of annual income and expenditure inequality in New Zealand over a thirty-year period from the early 1980s. The extent of redistribution through the tax and benefit system is also explored. Household Economic Survey data are used for each year from 1983/84 to 1997/98 inclusive, 2000/01 and 2003/04 , and for each year from 2006/07. Survey calibration methods are used to examine inequality on the assumption that a range of (approximately 50) population characteristics remain constant over the period. Furthermore, decomposition methods are used to examine the separate contributions to changing inequality of population ageing, changes in labour force participation and household structure.

    View record details
  • A Note on Computing the Gini Inequality Measure with Weighted Data

    Creedy, John (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This note sets out some basic results regarding calculation of the Gini measure and its standard error in the context of cross-sectional micro-datasets where sample weights are provided for aggregation from sample to population values.

    View record details
  • Taxation and the User Cost of Capital : An Introduction

    Creedy, John; Gemmell, Norman (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The aim of this paper is to provide an introduction to the concept of user cost and its determinants. Particular attention is given to the influence of taxation. The concept of user cost relates to the rental, the rate of return to capital, that arises in a profit maximising situation in which further investment in capital produces no additional profit. This paper sets out in some detail the range of assumptions involved in obtaining alternative expressions for the user cost. The user cost refers to a before-tax capital rental, the rate of return that ensures that the (after-tax) cost of capital is equal to the post-tax returns over its life. Hence, associated with the user cost measure is an effective marginal tax rate. This can differ substantially from the statutory marginal rate applicable to the investor. A related effective average tax rate is also defined.

    View record details
  • Labour Supply in New Zealand and the 2010 Tax and Transfer Changes

    Creedy, John; Mok, Penny (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the simulated labour supply responses to the personal tax and transfer policy changes introduced in New Zealand in 2010, and the implications for revenue and income distribution. The main changes examined are the increase in the GST rate from 12.5 to 15 per cent, along with reductions in personal income tax rates and increases in the main benefit payments and assistance to families with children, to compensate for the rise in GST. The simulated labour supply responses were obtained using the Treasury’s behavioural microsimulation model, TaxWell-B. The 2009/10 Household Economic Survey (HES) was used. The combined effect of all policy changes is to increase average labour supply slightly for all demographic groups. Labour force participation of sole parents is simulated to increase by 0.86 percentage points. In considering separate components, the change in income tax rates is found to have the largest effect on labour supply. This is not surprising given that it affected a large proportion of the population while the changes to the benefit system and assistance to families with children apply only to certain groups. The reforms are found to be approximately distribution neutral, in terms of the Gini inequality measure of after-tax income per adult equivalent person.

    View record details
  • Debt Projections and Fiscal Sustainability with Feedback Effects

    Creedy, John; Scobie, Grant (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper analyses long-term fiscal sustainability with a model which incorporates a number of feedback effects. When fiscal policy responds to ensure long-term sustainability, these feedback effects can potentially modify the intended outcomes by either enhancing or dampening the results of the policy interventions. The feedbacks include the effect on labour supply in response to changes in tax rates, changes in the country risk premium in response to higher public debt ratios, and endogenous changes in the rate of productivity growth and savings that respond to interest rates. A model of government revenue, expenditure and public debt which incorporates these feedbacks is used to simulate the outcome of a range of fiscal policy responses. In addition the effects of population ageing and productivity growth are explored.

    View record details
  • Measuring Revenue Responses to Tax Rate Changes in Multi-Rate Income Tax Systems: Behavioural and Structural Factors

    Creedy, John; Gemmell, Norman (2012)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper shows how income changes in response to changes in marginal income tax rates (MTRs) translate into tax revenue changes for the familiar multi-step income tax function used in many countries. Previous literature has focused on the relatively straightforward case of a proportional income tax or the top MTR only. The paper examines revenue responses at both the individual and aggregate levels, and it is shown that for individual MTRs within a multi-rate regime, simple expressions for tax revenue responsiveness can be derived that nevertheless capture the various behavioural and structural responses to income tax reforms involving changes to multiple rates and thresholds. Illustrations are provided using changes to the New Zealand income tax structure in the 2010 Budget. This reduced all marginal tax rates while leaving income thresholds unchanged.

    View record details
  • Revenue-Maximising Elasticities of Taxable Income in Multi-Rate Income Tax Structures

    Creedy, John; Gemmell, Norman (2012)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The empirical literature on the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) sometimes questions whether estimated values are consistent with being on the revenueincreasing section of the Laffer curve, usually in the context of a single rate tax system or for top marginal rates. This paper develops conceptual expressions for this ‘Laffer-maximum’ or revenue-maximising ETI for the multi-rate income tax systems commonly used in practice. Using the New Zealand income tax system in 2010 to illustrate its properties, the paper demonstrates that a wide range of revenue-maximising ETI values can be expected across individual taxpayers, across tax brackets and in aggregate.

    View record details
  • Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes: The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics

    Creedy, John; Hérault, Nicolas (2012)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper presents two ‘non-welfarist’ approaches and one ‘welfarist’ approach to decompose changes in inequality and social welfare into three components: population, tax policy and labour supply effects. As an illustration, changes in inequality and in values of a social welfare function in Australia between 2001 and 2006 are examined. Inequality is first defined in non-welfarist terms as a function of disposable income: the independent judge places no value on leisure. Then this is modified to allow for evaluations using a weighted geometric mean of disposable income and leisure. This is seen to modify the evaluation of changes in important ways. Furthermore, the results are shown to be quite different from those obtained using a ‘welfarist’ evaluation in terms of money metric utility, where separate behavioural effects cannot be isolated.

    View record details
  • The Composition of Government Expenditure with Alternative Choice Mechanisms

    Creedy, John; Moslehi, Solmaz (2012)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper investigates the choice of the composition of government expenditure using both positive and normative approaches. The former involves aggregation over selfish voters (simple majority voting and stochastic voting are examined), while the latter involves the choice by a single disinterested individual (considered to maximise a social welfare function). The approach allows direct comparisons of the choice mechanisms. The structures examined include a transfer payment combined with a pure public good, and a transfer payment with tax-financed education. Explicit solutions are obtained for the choice of expenditure components, and these are shown to depend on the proportional difference between the arithmetic mean and another measure of location of incomes, where the latter depends on the choice mechanism. In each case the expenditure composition depends on an inequality measure defined in terms of the proportional difference between a measure of location of the income distribution and the arithmetic mean, where the location measure depends on the decision mechanism.

    View record details
  • Inequality Comparisons in a Multi-Period Framework: The Role of Alternative Welfare Metrics

    Creedy, John; Halvorsen, Elin; Thoresen, Thor (2012)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper considers the use of alternative welfare metrics in evaluations of income inequality in a multi-period context. Using Norwegian longitudinal income data, it is found, as in many studies, that inequality is lower when each individual’s annual average income is used as welfare metric, compared with the use of a single-period accounting framework. However, this result does not necessarily hold when aversion to income fluctuations is introduced. Furthermore, when actual incomes are replaced by expected incomes (conditional on an initial period), using a model of income dynamics, higher values of inequality over longer periods are typically found, although comparisons depend on inequality and variability aversion parameters. The results are strongly influenced by the observed high degree of systematic regression towards the (geometric) mean, combined with a large extent of individual unexpected effects.

    View record details
  • Alternative Distributions for Inequality and Poverty Comparisons

    Creedy, John (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper provides an introductory review of the alternative possible income distributions which can be used when making cross-sectional evaluations of the effects of taxes and transfers using a household economic survey. This paper attempts to clarify the various alternatives, both for users of data and those wishing to interpret results. Special attention is given to the choice of income unit. The need to avoid spurious comparisons is stressed. The use of adult equivalence scales and the application of an explicit sharing rule are considered. Comparisons over time, where both the tax structure and the populations differ, are also considered. Numerical examples are used to highlight the alternative approaches and distributions.

    View record details
  • Tax Policy with Uncertain Future Costs: Some Simple Models

    Ball, Christopher; Creedy, John (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper considers the extent to which the standard argument, that the disproportionate excess burden of taxation suggests the use of tax-smoothing in the face of future cost increases, is modified by uncertainty regarding the future. The role of uncertainty and risk aversion are examined using several highly simplified models involving a possible future contingency requiring an increase in tax-financed expenditure.

    View record details