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Economics

Economics

University of Michigan Law School

2007

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Paying To Save: Tax Withholding And Asset Allocation Among Low- And Moderate-Income Taxpayers, Michael S. Barr, Jane Dokko Nov 2007

Paying To Save: Tax Withholding And Asset Allocation Among Low- And Moderate-Income Taxpayers, Michael S. Barr, Jane Dokko

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

We analyze the phenomenon that low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers exhibit a “preference for over-withholding” their taxes, a measure we derive from a unique set of questions administered in a dataset of 1,003 households, which we collected through the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. We argue that the relationship between their withholding preference and portfolio allocation across liquid and illiquid assets is consistent with models with present-biased preferences, and that individuals exhibit self-control problems when making their consumption and saving decisions. Our results support a model in which individuals use commitment devices to constrain their ...