Graziani, Grant van der Klaauw, Wilbert Zafar, Basit
Year of Publication:
Staff Report 592
This paper presents new survey evidence on workers' response to the 2011 payroll tax cuts. While workers intended to spend 10 to 18 percent of their tax-cut income, they reported actually spending 28 to 43 percent of the funds. This is higher than estimates from studies of recent tax cuts, and arguably a consequence of the design of the 2011 tax cuts. The shift to greater consumption than intended is largely unexplained by presentbias or unanticipated shocks, and is likely a consequence of mental accounting. We also use data from a complementary survey to understand the heterogeneous tax-cut response.