WorldCat Identities

Goolsbee, Austan

Overview
Works: 57 works in 376 publications in 1 language and 3,620 library holdings
Classifications: HB1, 332.673
Publication Timeline
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Publications about  Austan Goolsbee Publications about Austan Goolsbee
Publications by  Austan Goolsbee Publications by Austan Goolsbee
Most widely held works by Austan Goolsbee
In a world without borders : the impact of taxes on Internet commerce by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
15 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 147 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: The rapid rise in sales over the Internet has generated debate over the taxation of such transactions since the buyers usually pay no sales tax. This paper uses new data on the purchase decisions of approximately 25,000 online users to examine the effects that local sales taxes have on Internet commerce. The results show that, controlling for many observable characteristics, people who live in locations with high sales taxes are significantly more likely to buy things over the Internet. The estimated tax responsiveness of both participation and spending are large and resemble the tax effects found in previous research on retail sales in geographic border areas. The results are quite robust; the tax sensitivity is clear nationally, within regions, within states, and even within metropolitan areas. Further results suggest that the tax effect cannot be explained by unobserved heterogeneity across cities. The magnitudes in the paper suggest that to apply existing sales taxes to Internet commerce would reduce the number of online buyers by 25% and spending by more than 30% with some specifications suggesting even larger effects
What happens when you tax the rich? : evidence from executive compensation by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
12 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 146 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper reexamines the responsiveness of taxable income to changes in in marginal tax rates using detailed compensation data on several thousand corporate executives from 1991 to 1995. The data confirm that the higher marginal rates of 1993 led to a significant decline in taxable income. This small group of executives can account for as much as 20% of the aggregate change in wage and salary income for the 1 million richest taxpayers and one person alone can account for over 2%. But the decline is almost entirely a short-run shift in the timing of compensation rather than a permanent reduction in taxable income. The short-run elasticitiy of taxable income with respect to the net of tax share exceeds one but the elasticity after one year is at most 0.4 and probably close to 0. The response comes almost entirely from a large increase in the exercise of stock options in the year before the tax change, followed by a decline in the year of the tax change and the change is concentrated among executives at the top of the income distribution. Executives without stock options are 6 times less responsive to taxation. Other types of compensation such as salary and bonus or nontaxed income are either not responsive to tax rates or not large enough to make a difference. The estimated elasticities show that the dead weight loss of recent tax increases was around 15 to 25 percent of the revenue generated
Taxes and the quality of capital by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
13 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 145 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper shows that tax policy toward investment, by changing the relative prices of capital varieties, can have a direct effect on the quality of capital goods that firms purchase. The empirical results indicate that this impact is economically important and readily apparent in disaggregated data on farming, mining, and construction machinery. The paper also applies a general method for aggregation using index number theory which suggests that all of the investment increase generated by tax subsidies comes from buying higher quality capital goods as opposed to buying a larger number of capital goods. It shows, further, that the supply of capital is upward sloping with an elasticity of about one. The tax induced quality changes documented in the paper imply a tax distortion whose deadweight loss is neglected in the conventional literature but whose magnitude indicates may represent a substantial efficiency cost from capital taxation (or subsidy)
It's not about the money : why natural experiments don't work on the rich by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
14 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in English and held by 144 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: An influential literature on the effects of marginal tax rates on the behavior of the rich has claimed that the elasticity of taxable income with respect to the net of tax share is very high possibly exceeding one. These high estimated elasticities imply that cutting taxes on the rich does not lose much revenue possibly increases it and that progressivity generates a large amount of deadweight loss. To identify this elasticity, these studies have conducted natural experiments' comparing the rich to other income groups and assuming that they are the same except for changes in their tax rates. This paper tests the natural experiment assumption using alternative data on the compensation of a panel of several thousand corporate executives and finds it to be false. Relatively, the very rich have incomes which trend upward at a faster rate are more sensitive to economic conditions, and are more likely to be in a form whose timing can be shifted in the short run. Interpreted broadly, these facts might reduce existing elasticity estimates by as much as 75%. The paper also suggests ways of improving existing methods
Does government R & D policy mainly benefit scientists and engineers? by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
19 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in English and held by 142 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Conventional wisdom holds that the social rate of return to R&D significantly exceeds the private rate of return and, therefore, R&D should be subsidized. In the U.S., the government has directly funded a large fraction of total R&D spending. This paper shows that there is a serious problem with such government efforts to increase inventive activity. The majority of R&D spending is actually just salary payments for R&D workers. Their labor supply, however, is quite inelastic so when the government funds R&D, a significant fraction of the increased spending goes directly into higher wages. Using CPS data on wages of scientific personnel, this paper shows that government R&D spending raises wages significantly, particularly for scientists related to defense such as physicists and aeronautical engineers. Because of the higher wages, conventional estimates of the effectiveness of R&D policy may be 30 to 50% too high. The results also imply that by altering the wages of scientists and engineers even for firms not receiving federal support, government funding directly crowds out private inventive activity
Taxes, organizational form, and the deadweight loss of the corporate income tax by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
13 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 136 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: By changing the relative gain to incorporation, corporate taxation can play an important role in a firm's choice of organizational form. General equilibrium models have shown that substantial shifting of organizational form in response to tax rates implies a large deadweight loss of taxation. This paper estimates the impact of taxes on organizational form using data from 1900-1939. The results indicate that the effect of taxes is significant but small. A corporate rate increase of .10 raises the non-corporate share of capital .002-.03. The implied deadweight loss of the corporate income tax is around 5-10% of revenue
Evidence on learning and network externalities in the diffusion of home computers by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
15 editions published between 1998 and 1999 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: In this paper we examine the importance of local spillovers such as network externalities and learning from others in the diffusion of home computers using data on 110,000 U.S. households in 1997. Controlling for many individual characteristics, we find that people are more likely to buy their first home computer in areas where a high fraction of households already own computers or when a large share of their friends and family own computers. Further results suggest that these patterns are unlikely to be explained by city-specific unobserved traits. Looked at in more detail, the spillovers appear to come from experienced and intensive computer users. They are not associated with the use of any particular type of software but do seem to be highly tied to the use of e-mail and the Internet, consistent with computers being part of a local information and communications network
Taxes, high-income executives, and the perils of revenue tax estimation in the new economy by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
17 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 114 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper attempts to help explain the unforecasted, excess' personal income tax revenues of the last several years. Using panel data on executive compensation in the 1990s, it argues that because the gains on most stock options are treated as ordinary income for tax purposes, rising stock market valuations are directly tied to non-capital gains income. This blurred line between capital and wage income for has affected tax revenue in three ways, at least for these high-income people. First, stock performance has directly affected the amount of ordinary income that people report by influencing their stock option exercise decisions. Second, the presence of options gives executives more flexibility in changing the timing of their reported income and appears to make them much more sensitive to the short-run timing of tax changes, even accounting for the stock market changes of the period. Third, because of the tax rules on options, changing the capital gains tax rate, as the U.S. did in the late 1990s, can lead individuals to exercise their options early to convert the expected future gains into lower-taxed forms. The data show significant evidence of each of these effects and in all three cases, executives working in the new' economy and high-technology sectors
Competition in the computer industry : online versus retail by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
13 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 111 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper estimates the relative price sensitivity of individuals' choice of whether to buy computers online versus in retail stores using a new data source on the computer purchase behavior of more than 20,000 people. To estimate the degree of competition between the two channels, the paper uses a two step approach. First, it fits hedonic regressions for the prices paid for a computer in a retail store as a function of characteristics. The coefficients on the city fixed effects in these regressions give a measure of the retail price level The second stage then looks at whether individuals purchase their computers in stores versus online as a function of the retail price and their own personal characteristics. The results indicate that the decision to buy remotely is sensitive to the relative price of computers in retail stores and that it varies by type of customer and type of computer. Conditional on buying a computer, the overall elasticity of buying remotely with respect to retail store prices is about 1.5
The impact and inefficiency of the corporate income tax : evidence from state organizational form data by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
11 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: By double taxing the income of corporate firms but not unincorporated firms, taxes can play an important role in a firm's choice of organizational form. The sensitivity of the organizational form decision to tax rates can also be used to approximate the efficiency cost of the corporate income tax. This paper uses new cross-sectional data on organizational form across states compiled in the Census of Retail Trade to estimate this sensitivity. The results document a significant impact of the relative taxation of corporate to personal income on the share of economic activity that is done by corporations including sales, employment, and the number of firms. The impacts are substantially larger than those found in the previous empirical literature based on time-series data
Estimating adjustment costs with data on heterogeneous capital goods by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
11 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper estimates the micro-level costs of adjusting capital using detailed data on investment decisions in the US airline industry. The data include the capital stock retirement, market values, operating costs, and utilization rates of 16 different types of capital goods for each airline. This data on heterogeneous capital goods allows us to estimate the desired stock of capital for each type of plane while controlling for unobserved changes in airline profitability. The results show clear evidence of non-convex adjustment costs inaction for capital investment and quadratic adjustment costs conditional on positive or negative investment. The adjustment costs for utilization show similar non-convexities but with smaller adjustment costs. Aggregating to the firm level or using accounting data obscures the non-convexities and biases the estimated adjustment costs upward
Investment subsidies and wages in capital goods industries : to the workers go the spoils? by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
15 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 101 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper looks at the impact of investment tax subsidies on the labor market for capital goods workers using data from the 1979-88 Current Population Survey. The results show that investment subsidies drive up the wages of workers who produce capital goods relative to other manufacturing workers. A 10% investment tax credit, for example, raises the relative wage of capital goods workers by 2.5%-3.0% on average and up to around 10%, depending on the workers' characteristics. The evidence is consistent with an existing literature on the cyclicality of manufacturing wages as is the evidence that the wage increases are largest for workers with low education, workers with less tenure, and workers in non-management occupations. The evidence is also consistent with the literature on rent-sharing in profitable industries as are the results indicating the importance of unions for the wage increases. Either way, the evidence of rising wages is an important part of the upward sloping supply of capital goods identified in previous work and means that much of the benefit of investment subsidies is passed to capital suppliers and their employees
Coveting thy neighbor's manufacturing : the dilemma of state income apportionment by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
14 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 98 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper investigates the economic impact of the apportionment formulae used to divide corporate income taxes among the states. Most apportionment formulae, by including payroll, turn the state corporate income tax at least partially into a payroll tax. Using panel data from 1978 - 1994, the results show that this distortion has an important effect on state-level employment. For the average state, reducing the payroll weight from one-third to one-quarter increases manufacturing employment around 3% and the result is highly robust. The results also indicate that apportionment changes have important negative externalities on other states in that the effects of the apportionment formula on aggregate employment is zero. Every job gained within a state from an apportionment change is taken from another state. This externality suggests that the U.S. would be better off if the apportionment formula were set at a federal level. The paper also shows that because the payroll component of the tax is administered on top of the existing payroll tax, the deadweight loss from this component of state corporate income taxation may be significant, despite the low tax rates
Investment tax incentives, prices, and the supply of capital goods by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
16 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in English and held by 94 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Using data on the prices of capital goods, this paper shows that much of the benefit of" investment tax incentives does not go to investing firms but rather to capital suppliers through" higher prices. The reduction in the cost of capital from a 10 percent investment tax credit" increases equipment prices 3.5-7.0 percent. This lasts several years and is largest for assets with" large order backlogs, low import competition, or with a large fraction of buyers able to use" investment subsidies. Capital goods workers' wages rise, too. Instrumental variables estimates" of the short-run supply elasticity are around 1 and can explain the traditionally small estimates of" investment demand elasticities. In absolute value, the demand elasticity implied here exceeds 1."
Does the internet make markets more competitive? : evidence from the life insurance industry by Jeffrey R Brown ( Book )
15 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 87 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The Internet has the potential to significantly reduce search costs by allowing consumers to engage in low-cost price comparisons online. This paper provides empirical evidence on the impact that the rise of Internet comparison shopping sites has had for the prices of life insurance in the 1990s. Using micro data on individual life insurance policies, the results indicate that, controlling for individual and policy characteristics, a 10 percent increase in the share of individuals in a group using the Internet reduces average insurance prices for the group by as much as 5 percent. Further evidence indicates that prices did not fall with rising Internet usage for insurance types that were not covered by the comparison websites, nor did they in the period before the insurance sites came online. The results suggest that growth of the Internet has reduced term life prices by 8 to 15 percent and increased consumer surplus by $115-215 million per year and perhaps more. The results also show that the initial introduction of the Internet search sites is initially associated with an increase in price dispersion within demographic groups, but as the share of people using the technology rises further, dispersion falls
The importance of measurement error in the cost of capital by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
11 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 85 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Conventional estimates of the impact of taxes on investment may be seriously biased by measurement error in the cost of capital. The existence and size of such error, however, has not been documented. Using panel data on different types of capital equipment, this paper provides direct evidence of measurement error in the tax component of the cost of capital, accounting for about 20 percent of the tax term's variance. Correcting for the error with IV estimation shows that taxes significantly affect both prices and investment and that conventional results may be off by as much as a factor of four
The business cycle, financial performance, and the retirement of capital goods by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
11 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 84 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: The neoclassical investment literature assumes that capital is homogenous, lives forever and has a constant depreciation rate. More recent theories of investment have shown that when there are distinct capital vintages with embodied technologies, depreciation and capital retirement become economic decisions and this raises important problems with existing empirical work. Direct testing of these issues, however, has been rare because of the lack of micro data. This paper uses new data on the service lives of individual capital goods in the airline industry to empirically examine the impact that economic factors have on capital retirement. The results strongly support the view that retirement is fundamentally an economic decision. Retirement is much more likely in recessions, when the cost of capital is low, or when a firm has good financial performance. Factor prices and industry regulation are also important. Since many of these factors also influence capital expenditures, the results imply that estimates from the conventional investment literature such as the effect of the cost of capital or financial performance may substantially overstate the case since their impact on net investment may be much more modest than their impact on gross investment. The results also have implications for the measurement of productivity
The impact of Internet subsidies in public schools by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 80 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: In an effort to alleviate the perceived growth of a digital divide, the U.S. government enacted a major subsidy for Internet and communications investment in schools starting in 1998. The program subsidized spending by 20-90 percent, depending on school characteristics. Using new data on school technology usage in every school in California from 1996 to 2000 as well as application data from the E-Rate program, this paper shows that the subsidy did succeed in significantly increasing Internet investment. The implied first-dollar price elasticity of demand for Internet investment is between -0.9 and -2.2 and the greatest sensitivity shows up among urban schools and schools with large black and Hispanic student populations. Rural and predominantly white and Asian schools show much less sensitivity. Overall, by the final year of the sample, there were about 66 percent more Internet classrooms than there would have been without the subsidy. Using a variety of test score results, however, it is clear that the success of the E-Rate program, at least so far, has been restricted to the increase in access. The increase in Internet connections has had no measurable impact on any measure of student achievement
How prevalent is tax arbitrage? : evidence from the market for municipal bonds by Merle Erickson ( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 78 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Although tax arbitrage is central to the literatures on tax capitalization, implicit taxes, and even capital structure, there is little empirical evidence of the extent to which firms actually engage in tax arbitrage. This paper provides some evidence on the topic by focusing on a simple and observable corporate arbitrage strategy in the market for municipal bonds. It poses a puzzle for the literature, however, in that we find little evidence of municipal bond tax arbitrage by non-financial corporations. The overwhelming majority of firms are not engaging in the arbitrage at all and even among those engaged in arbitrage, many firms do less than a safe-harbor amount allowed by the tax authorities. Such a pattern is consistent with the presence of both fixed and marginal (i.e., that depend on size of the position) costs of arbitrage, though we cannot observe what those costs are
Measuring prices and price competition online : Amazon, and Barnes and Noble by Austan Goolsbee ( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Despite the interest in measuring price sensitivity of online consumers, most academic work on Internet commerce is hindered by a lack of data on quantity. In this paper we use publicly available data on the sales ranks of about 20,000 books to derive quantity proxies at the two leading online booksellers. Matching this information to prices, we can directly estimate the elasticities of demand facing both merchants as well as create a consumer price index for online books. The results show significant price sensitivity at both merchants but demand at Barnes and Noble is much more price-elastic than is demand at Amazon. The data also allow us to estimate the magnitude of retail outlet substitution bias in the CPI due to the rise of Internet sales. The estimates suggest that prices online are much more variable than the CPI, which understates inflation by more than double in one period and gets the sign wrong in another
 
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Alternative Names
Dean Goolsbee, Austan
Goolsbee, A.
Goolsbee, Austan.
Goolsbee, Austan Dean
Languages
English (269)