Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Hours of Work versus Labor Force Participation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kleven, Henrik
  • Kreiner, Claus Thustrup

Abstract

This paper extends the theory and measurement of the marginal cost of public funds (MCF) to account for labour force participation responses. Our work is motivated by the emerging consensus in the empirical literature that extensive (participation) responses are more important than intensive (hours-of-work) responses. In the modelling of extensive responses, we argue that it is crucial to account for the presence of non-convexities created by fixed costs of work. In a non-convex framework, tax and transfer reforms give rise to discrete participation responses generating first-order effects on government revenue and the marginal cost of funds. Based on analytical expressions accounting for both margins of labour supply response, and allowing for heterogeneity in productivities and preferences, we calculate MCF for 15 European countries using micro data on taxes and benefits for each country. The MCF estimates depend crucially on the country under consideration and on the properties of the tax reform. In general, we find that extensive responses have very important effects on MCF, especially in the Scandinavian and the Central/Northern Continental European countries where participation tax rates are very high at the bottom of the distribution resulting from generous out-of-work benefits along with high tax rates on workers. For these countries, the estimated MCFs centre around 2 in the case of proportional tax changes.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP5594.asp
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5594.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5594

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information:
Email:

Related research

Keywords: fixed work costs; income transfers; intensive and extensive responses; labour supply; marginal welfare costs; taxation;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
  2. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  4. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
  5. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
  6. Dahlby, Bev, 1998. "Progressive taxation and the social marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 105-122, January.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Dasgupta, P, 1971. "Differential Taxation, Public Goods and Economic Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 151-74, April.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Bruce D. Meyer, 2002. "Labor Supply Effects of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Kenneth L. Judd, 1984. "The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 643, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Thomas Mroz, . "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  12. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, Lans, 2004. "The optimal taxation of unskilled labor with job search and social assistance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2227-2258, September.
  13. Ballard, Charles L., 1990. "Marginal welfare cost calculations : Differential analysis vs. balanced-budget analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 263-276, March.
  14. Browning, Edgar K, 1976. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 283-98, April.
  15. Snow, Arthur & Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "The marginal welfare cost of public funds: Theory and estimates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 289-305, August.
  16. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
  17. Robert K. Triest, 1990. "The Effect of Income Taxation on Labor Supply in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 491-516.
  18. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  19. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  20. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Nada Eissa & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner, 2004. "Evaluation of Four Tax Reforms in the United States: Labor Supply and Welfare Effects for Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 10935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
  23. P. B. Sørensen, 1997. "Public finance solutions to the European unemployment problem?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 221-264, October.
  24. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  25. Bradley T. Heim & Bruce D. Meyer, 2003. "Work Costs and Nonconvex Preferences in the Estimation of Labor Supply Models," NBER Working Papers 9429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  27. Richard Blundell, 1992. "Labour supply and taxation: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 15-40, January.
  28. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  29. Mayshar, Joram, 1991. "On Measuring the Marginal Cost of Funds Analytically," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1329-35, December.
  30. Stuart, Charles E, 1984. "Welfare Costs per Dollar of Additional Tax Revenue in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 352-62, June.
  31. 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.
  32. Blundell, Richard & Duncan, Alan & Meghir, Costas, 1992. "Taxation in Empirical Labour Supply Models: Lone Mothers in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 265-78, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5594. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.