Virtual Inequality Discussion Group - Cristobal Young

Photo of Professor Cristobal Young

Event Date

12/02/2020 - 11:30

Cristobal Young (Professor, Sociology)

Title: Millionaire Migration after the Trump Tax Cuts: Implications for Progressive Taxation

Abstract: State progressive taxation is highly polarized in the US, as some states have millionaire taxes while others have no state income tax at all. President Trump’s 2017 tax reform (the “Tax Cuts and Jobs” Act) amplified these differences by capping the SALT deduction: cutting tax rates in red states much more than in blue states. Many expect this new tax differential will set off a wave of millionaire tax flight, and a new “race to the bottom” in state taxes on the rich. We draw on confidential data from IRS administrative records, providing data on all top income earners in the country, showing their state of residence and migration patterns over time. We examine elite mobility and embeddedness in the wake of the Trump tax reform: is there a rise in top-earner migration from high-tax to low-tax states? Does millionaire migration undermine progressive state taxation?

Bio: Cristobal Young works in the overlapping fields of economic sociology, stratification, and quantitative methodology. He studies the social policies that moderate income inequality, ranging from millionaire taxes to unemployment insurance. His methodological work focuses on big administrative data, model uncertainty, and robust results.