We measure the lifetime incidence of a value added tax (VAT) using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX). Using annual income to measure economic well-being makes a VAT look quite regressive. Using two different measures of lifetime income, we find that a broad-based VAT would be only modestly regressive. Using current consumption as a proxy for lifetime income makes a VAT proportional. We discuss why these two approaches to measuring lifetime income lead to different incidence results. We also consider the distributional impact of zero rating food, housing, and medical expenditures.
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Caspersen, Erik, and Gilbert Metcalf. "Is a value added tax regressive? Annual versus lifetime incidence measures." National Tax Journal, Dec. 1994, pp. 731-746. Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Jan. 2019.
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