Some Considerations for Empirical Research on Tax Preferred Savings Accounts Kevin Milligan ~ Vancouver School of Economics ~ University of British Columbia

Some Considerations for Empirical Research on Tax Preferred Savings Accounts

National Tax Association Proceedings, 95th Annual Conference 2002, 2003, pp. 278-282.
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Abstract:

In this paper, I provide some considerations for future empirical research on tax-preferred savings accounts, drawing from the work in my dissertation. After giving a very brief overview of the state of empirical knowledge, I proceed to discuss three issues that can influence the choice of empirical strategy and the interpretation of empirical results. First, I argue that any analysis of the savings response to a reform of tax-preferred savings limits must consider the response within a life-cycle framework. Second, I explain how the presence of multiple tax-preferred savings accounts may confound estimation. Finally, I explore some empirical implications of behavioral economics for estimations of behavioral response to tax-preferred savings accounts. Common to all of the three considerations is the importance of a careful understanding and exploration of the theory that underlies the chosen empirical approach.

Versions:
Working paper, November, 2002: PDF.


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