Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Tax-Benefit Systems in Europe and the US: Between Equity and Efficiency

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bargain, Olivier
  • Dolls, Mathias
  • Neumann, Dirk
  • Peichl, Andreas
  • Siegloch, Sebastian

Abstract

Whether observed differences in redistributive policies across countries are the result of differences in social preferences or efficiency constraints is an important question that paves the debate about the optimality of welfare regimes. To shed new light on this question, we estimate labor supply elasticities on microdata and adopt an inverted optimal tax approach to characterize the redistributive preferences embodied in the welfare systems of 17 EU countries and the US. Implicit social welfare functions are broadly compatible with the fiction of an optimizing Paretian social planner. Some exceptions due to generous demogrant transfers are consistent with the ignorance of behavioral responses by some European governments and are partly corrected by recent policy developments. Heterogeneity in leisure-consumption preferences somewhat affect the international comparison in degrees of revealed inequality aversion, but differences in social preferences are significant only between broad groups of countries.

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: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/working-papers/euromod/em2-11.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series EUROMOD Working Papers with number EM2/11.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em2-11

Contact details of provider:
Postal: RAB Butler Building, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, ESSEX C04 3SQ
Phone: +44 (0)1206 872957
Fax: +44 (0)1206 873151
Email:
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/euromod/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

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. Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," CEPR Discussion Papers 5978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
  3. Irena Grosfeld & Claudia Senik, 2010. "The emerging aversion to inequality," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, 01.
  4. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian & Peichl, Andreas, 2011. "Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5820, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Nicolaj Verdelin, 2009. "An Evaluation of the Tax-Transfer Treatment of Married Couples in European Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 76, OECD Publishing.
  6. Vincenzo Atella & Jay Coggins & Federico Perali, 2005. "Aversion to inequality in Italy and its determinants," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 117-144, January.
  7. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2010. "Empirical Welfare Analysis in Random Utility Models of Labour Supply," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 340, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. M. Weeks, 2003. "Discrete choice methods with simulation, Kenneth E. Train, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN: 0-521-81696-3, pp. 334," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 379-383.
  9. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2011. "Caught in the trap? Welfare's disincentive and the labor supply of single men," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1096-1110.
  10. Ravi Kanbur & Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2004. "Non-Welfarist Optimal Taxation and Behavioral Public Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1291, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Philippe Chone & Guy Laroque, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Labor Force Participation," Working Papers 2001-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  13. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  14. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  15. Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Optimal Linear Income Tax when Agents Vote with their Feet," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(3), pages 393-415, September.
  16. Soest, A.H.O. van & Das, J.W.M. & Gong, X., 2000. "A Structural Labor Supply Model with Nonparametric Preferences," Discussion Paper 2000-60, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  17. Eissa, Nada & Liebman, Jeffrey B, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-37, May.
  18. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  19. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  20. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Lindskog, Annika, 2009. "Preferences for redistribution--A country comparison of fairness judgements," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 884-902, December.
  21. Claudia Senik, 2008. "Ambition and Jealousy: Income Interactions in the 'Old' Europe versus the 'New' Europe and the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 495-513, 08.
  22. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  24. Soest, A.H.O. van & Das, J.W.M., 2000. "Family labor supply and proposed tax reforms in the Netherlands," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-121735, Tilburg University.
  25. Amadéo Spadaro, 2008. "Optimal taxation, social contract and the four worlds of welfare capitalism," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586290, HAL.
  26. Stancanelli, Elena G.F., 2008. "Evaluating the impact of the French tax credit on the employment rate of women," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2036-2047, October.
  27. Euwals, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-118, March.
  28. Olivier Bargain & Marco Caliendo & Peter Haan & Kristian Orsini, 2010. "“Making work pay” in a rationed labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 323-351, January.
  29. Eichhorst, Werner & Konle-Seidl, Regina, 2005. "The Interaction of Labor Market Regulation and Labor Market Policies in Welfare State Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 1718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
  31. Herwig Immervoll, 2007. "Minimum Wages, Minimum Labour Costs and the Tax Treatment of Low-Wage Employment," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 46, OECD Publishing.
  32. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Micro-Simulation Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Peter Haan & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 472, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  34. Robert A. Moffitt & John Karl Scholz, 2009. "Trends in the Level and Distribution of Income Support," NBER Working Papers 15488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Optimal Taxation: The Design of Child Related Cash- and In-Kind-Benefits," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 737, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  36. Kristian Orsini, 2006. "Is Belgium 'making work pay'?," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0605, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  37. Boone, J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-90151, Tilburg University.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Kelly Bishop & Bradley Heim & Kata Mihaly, 2009. "Single Women's Labor Supply Elasticities: Trends and Policy Implications," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(1), pages 146, October.
  41. James Banks & Richard Disney & Alan Duncan & John Van Reenen, 2005. "The Internationalisation of Public Welfare Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages C62-C81, 03.
  42. Corneo, Giacomo & Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002. "Individual preferences for political redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 83-107, January.
  43. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  44. 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.
  45. Tim Callan & Arthur van Soest & John R. Walsh, 2009. "Tax Structure and Female Labour Supply: Evidence from Ireland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 1-35, 03.
  46. Bradley T. Heim, 2009. "Structural Estimation of Family Labor Supply with Taxes: Estimating a Continuous Hours Model Using a Direct Utility Specification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  47. Michiel Evers & Ruud Mooij & Daniel Vuuren, 2008. "The Wage Elasticity of Labour Supply: A Synthesis of Empirical Estimates," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
  48. François Bourguignon & Amadéo Spadaro, 2008. "Tax-benefit revealed social preferences," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586292, HAL.
  49. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1.
  50. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
  51. Olivier Bargain & Amedeo Spadaro, 2008. "Optimal Taxation, Social Contract and the Four Worlds of Welfare Capitalism," Working Papers 200816, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  52. 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.
  53. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Introduction to "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. André DECOSTER & Erik SHCOKKAERT, 1989. "Equity and efficiency of a reform of Belgian indirect taxes," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1989023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  55. 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.
  56. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Work Incentives and Labor Supply Effects of the 'Mini-Jobs Reform' in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 438, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  57. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  58. 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.
  59. Herwig Immervoll, 2004. "Average and Marginal Effective Tax Rates Facing Workers in the EU: A Micro-Level Analysis of Levels, Distributions and Driving Factors," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 19, OECD Publishing.
  60. Peter Lambert & Xavier Ramos, 1997. "Horizontal Inequity and Vertical Redistribution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 25-37, January.
  61. Grosfeld, Irena & Senik, Claudia, 2010. "The emerging aversion to inequality - Evidence from subjective data," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1006, CEPREMAP.
  62. repec:nbr:nberch:6795 is not listed on IDEAS
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:
  1. Gordon, Roger H. & Cullen, Julie Berry, 2012. "Income redistribution in a Federal system of governments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1100-1109.
  2. Bönke, Timm & Eichfelder, Sebastian & Utz, Stephen, 2012. "Uneven treatment of family life? Horizontal equity in the U.S. tax and transfer system," Discussion Papers 2012/18, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Normann Lorenz & Dominik Sachs, 2012. "Optimal Participation Taxes and Efficient Transfer Phase-Out," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-37, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  4. Holly Sutherland & Francesco Figari, 2013. "EUROMOD: the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 4-26.

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:ese:emodwp:em2-11. 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: (Paul Groves).

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.