Do Taxes Matter?
The Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986
A timely and important study. Required reading for anyone who cares about the future of tax policy.
Do Taxes Matter? is the first systematic examination of the actual effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the most important U.S. income tax reform of the last four decades. It presents basic information on and an analysis of a variety of different aspects of economic behavior in order to discover whether the observed changes coincide with the predictions of standard public finance models. Prior to implementation of the new law, supporters and opponents made numerous forecasts about its effect on savings, corporate investment, and other major determinants of the country's economic health. The general finding of these original contributions is that the effects of tax reform turned out to be smaller than had been anticipated.Commissioned by the Office of Tax Policy Research of the University of Michigan, eight of the studies focus on different sectors of the economy, reviewing the predictions and carefully analyzing the evidence to determine actual effects. The ninth study draws together the results to find lessons for future changes in tax policy.
ContentsThe Economic Impact of Tax Reform Act of 1986, Joel Slemrod • Investment, Tax Policy, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Alan J. Auerbach, Kevin Hassett • The Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform on Personal Saving, Jonathan Skinner, Daniel Feenberg • Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form, Roger H. Gordon, Jeffrey K. MacKieMason • Taxation and Housing Markets: Preliminary Evidence on the Effects of Recent Tax Reforms, James M. Poterba • The Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Foreign Direct Investment to and from the United States, Joel Slemrod • The Impact of Tax Reform on Charitable Giving: A 1989 Perspective, Charles T. Clotfelter • The Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on State and Local Fiscal Behavior, Paul N. Courant, Edward M. Gramlich • Foreign Responses to U.S. Tax Reform, John Whalley • Lessons for Tax Reform, Henry J. Aaron