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Optimal Taxation: The Design of Child-Related Cash and In-Kind Benefits

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  • Peter Haan
  • Katharina Wrohlich

Abstract

In this paper, we empirically derive the welfare function that guarantees that the current German tax and transfer system for single women is optimal. In particular, we compare the welfare function conditional on the presence and age of children and assess how recent reforms of in-kind childcare transfers affect the welfare function. Our analysis is based on a discrete model of optimal taxation. We apply this framework using microsimulation and microeconometric techniques. In general, we find that marginal welfare weights are relatively high for non-working single women. Further, we show that the reform of in-kind childcare transfers is only optimal if society increases the marginal welfare weights for the working single women. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 11 (2010)
Issue (Month): (08)
Pages: 278-301

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:11:y:2010:i::p:278-301

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  1. François Bourguignon & Amadéo Spadaro, 2005. "Tax-benefit revealed social preferences," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590779, HAL.
  2. Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "The Excess Demand for Subsidized Child Care in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, 01.
  4. Ugo Colombino & Rolf Aaberge, 2006. "Designing Optimal Taxes with a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply," CHILD Working Papers wp20_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  5. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives and Household Welfare?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 44, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  9. Immervoll, Herwig & Barber, David, 2006. "Can Parents Afford to Work? Childcare Costs, Tax-Benefit Policies and Work Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 1932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Peter Haan & Andrew Shephard, 2009. "Optimal Income Taxation of Lone Mothers: An Empirical Comparison of the UK and Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages F101-F121, 02.
  11. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  12. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich & Peter Haan & Johannes Geyer, 2008. "Documentation of the Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model STSM: Version 2008," Data Documentation 31, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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