A Belgian Flat Income Tax. Effects on Labour Supply and Income Distribution
AbstractThe adverse distributional effects of a flat tax are well known and have been documented by empirical research in several countries, including Belgium. Advocates of the flat tax argue, correctly, that these studies do not take into account agents’ behavioural reactions and possible feed back effects. One of the important effects in this context is the potential increase in labour supply and the resulting increase in the taxable base and decrease in unemployment allowances. In this study we calculate the cost recovery of the introduction of a Belgian flat tax, based on a micro-simulation model that includes a labour supply model. We find that there is a clearly positive effect on labour supply and hence also on the tax base. By introducing a revenue-neutral flat tax, labour supply increases by approximately 47,000 full-time equivalents. Yet, compared to a static scenario, the cost recovery only allows the revenue-neutral flat tax to decrease from 38.5% to 37%. Furthermore, there is little or no impact of these employment effects on the regressive nature of a flat tax reform.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen in its journal Review of Business and Economics.
Volume (Year): LV (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
flat tax; income distribution; microsimulation; labour supply;
Other versions of this item:
- A. Decoster & K. De Swerdt & K. Orsini, 2010. "A Belgian Flat Income Tax: Effects on Labour Supply and Income Distribution," Review of Business and Economic Literature, Intersentia, Intersentia, vol. 55(1), pages 23-55, March.
- André Decoster & Kris De Swerdt & Kristian Orsini, 2008. "A Belgian flat income tax: effects on labour supply and income distribution," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische StudiÃ«n ces0820, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
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- Randjelovic, Sasa, 2013. "Effects of income tax on personal savings: econometric evidence from Serbia," EUROMOD Working Papers EM1/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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