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Unemployment Insurance Tax Burdens and Benefits: Funding Family Leave and Reforming the Payroll Tax

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  • Patricia M. Anderson
  • Bruce D. Meyer

Abstract

We examine the distributional consequences of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) payroll tax. Applying the ability-to-pay principle of equity, the UI payroll tax is quite regressive, while applying the benefits principle makes the UI program look quite good. We then simulate a revenue-neutral increase of the UI tax base to the OASDI tax base level, which appears equity-enhancing under the ability-to-pay principle, but has mixed effects under the benefits principle. Finally, providing family leave within the UI system would maintain the regressivity that violates the ability-to-pay principle of equity, but would agree much better with the benefits principle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0601

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Related research

Keywords: unemployment insurance; payroll tax; family leave;

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  1. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
  2. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  3. Robert Hutchens, 1981. "Distributional equity in the unemployment insurance system," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(3), pages 377-385, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Jean Kimmel, 2009. "Moonlighting Over The Business Cycle," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 754-765, October.
  2. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Kimmel, Jean, 2005. "Moonlighting Behavior over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 1671, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 15181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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