Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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Session Overview
L03: Mobility and Migration
Friday, 20/Aug/2021:
2:15pm - 3:45pm

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2:15pm - 2:37pm

Citizenship and Taxes: Evaluating the Effects of the U.S. Tax System on Individuals’ Citizenship Decisions

Paul R. Organ

University of Michigan, United States of America

The United States tax system applies to its citizens’ worldwide incomes and estates, whether those citizens live in the U.S. or abroad. Fully escaping the U.S. tax system requires dropping U.S. citizenship, and in recent years a growing number of individuals have done so. I use administrative tax microdata to answer three questions: Who is renouncing? Why are they renouncing? What are the policy consequences? I show that the recent increase in renunciations is mainly driven by those who have always lived abroad dropping citizenship, rather than by individuals leaving the U.S., and that these renunciations are a response to increased compliance costs, not tax liabilities. I then discuss how recent renunciations relate to U.S. tax policy, including the revenue impacts, policy spillovers, and the implied value of U.S. citizenship.

Organ-Citizenship and Taxes-340.pdf

2:37pm - 3:00pm

Taxation, Public Spending and Internal Migratory Responses in Switzerland: Who Votes with Her Feet?

Laura Fontana-Casellini1, Veronica Grassi2

1Università della Svizzera italiana; 2University of St. Gallen

This study investigates mobility reactions to tax rates and public goods in Switzerland. We match administrative data covering the whole population to income data from the social security earnings, and we analyze almost 1,500,000 households' relocations over eight years (2010-2017). We first show that migration profiles are similar across income groups and decrease in age. We then analyze migration responses to the net-of-tax rate and local spending by income groups using an aggregate model of migration flows between municipality pairs. We tackle policy endogeneity bias by including a set of geographical and time fixed effects. Our preliminary results show heterogeneous responses: the tax base elasticity to net-of-tax rate seems positive and predominantly driven by households without children in the highest quartile of the income distribution. The estimated elasticity is around 4 and stable across specifications. Elasticity estimates to schooling and non-schooling expenditures are unclear and more sensitive to dynamic effects.

Fontana-Casellini-Taxation, Public Spending and Internal Migratory Responses-236.pdf

3:00pm - 3:22pm

The Effect of Taxes on Where Superstars Work

David Agrawal1, Kenneth Tester2

1University of Kentucky, Department of Economics and Martin School of Public Policy & Administration; 2University of Kentucky, Department of Economics

Prior studies show that taxes matter for the residential locations of high-income earners. But, states raise a significant share of income taxes from nonresidents, especially superstars. Using superstar athletes and variation in state tax rates, we provide causal evidence on the effect of the net-of-participation tax rate on the location of labor supply. The elasticity of working in a state is 0.32, with larger effects at the top of the earnings distribution. Our results suggest a novel margin of labor supply responses for top-earners: the spatial relocation of labor supply by nonresidents.

Agrawal-The Effect of Taxes on Where Superstars Work-350.pdf

3:22pm - 3:45pm

The EITC and Migrating Out of Rural America

Jacob Bastian1, Dan Black2

1Rutgers University, United States of America; 2University of Chicago, United States of America

There is a strong and growing interest in helping families move to areas with higher economic opportunity. This paper is the first to examine whether the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) affects migration, with a focus on women from rural and economically distressed areas. We find that the EITC increases migration out of rural and distressed areas, with many of these moves occurring across counties or commuting zones. We also find decreases in living ``doubled up'' with another family, and reductions in commute length. Our results suggest that the EITC relaxes credit constraints and helps women move to economic opportunity.

Bastian-The EITC and Migrating Out of Rural America-344.pdf

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