Rice University

Events at Rice

Thesis Defense

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Speaker: Margaret McKeehan
Doctoral Candidate

Essays on Capital and Personal Income Taxation

Thursday, March 23, 2017
3:00 PM  to 5:00 PM

233  Baker Hall

A principal consideration in evaluating any tax policy is the response of economic agents, which determines the economic costs and consequences of levying a tax. In the three chapters of my dissertation, I study these responses both theoretically and empirically, seeking to extend the literature examining the impact of the corporate income tax, the interaction between corporate income taxation and individual-level capital income taxation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Chapter one is a theoretical exploration of optimal capital income tax reform, focusing on the choice between source-based and residence-based capital income taxes. By incorporating imperfectly mobile capital and allowing for income sheltering, this paper adds to the literature on capital income taxation by addressing the implications of an increasingly global economy. Chapter two is a project which studies the factors that affect the desirability of source-based corporate income taxation in a small open economy. Using both analytical derivations and computational simulations, this chapter formally balances the factors that strongly motivate corporate income taxation, notably residual taxation in foreign countries, individual income sheltering, and foreign-owned immobile capital, against those that discourage capital income taxation, notably the presence of highly-mobile capital investment and opportunities to tax immobile capital directly. Chapter three is an empirical study that investigates the behavioral response of a group that has received minimal attention in prior studies: dependent adults. Focusing on the 1993 expansion of the EITC, this study finds that non-nuclear relatives increased their labor supply in response to their own newfound EITC eligibility, but that adult children decreased their labor supply in response to their parents' expanded credits.

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