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A Microsimulation Approach to an Optimal Swedish Income Tax

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Author Info

  • Ericson, Peter

    (Empirica)

  • Flood, Lennart

    ()
    (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

This paper follows the theory of optimal taxation and the goal is to identify a tax/benefit design that maximizes social welfare. A two stage process is proposed where the individuals preferred choice of leisure and consumption is solved in the first stage, and the second stage identifies the tax/benefit system that maximize the social welfare function. Our study deviates from the mainstream literature as the first stage is based on a static micro simulation model with behavioral responses. The behavioral responses take two different forms and use two different types of models; first binary models that describe mobility in/out from non-work states such as old age pension, disability, unemployment, long term sickness, and second models that describe change in working hours and welfare participation. Compared to the current Swedish income tax, our results suggest that increased basic deduction and in-work tax credit in combination with a reduction of the progressive national taxes would increase welfare. We also find strong support for increased housing allowances. The reforms are financed by a tax based on the same tax base as the proportional municipal income tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4379.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4379

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Related research

Keywords: micro simulation; tax-benefit system; in-work tax credit reform; optimal taxation;

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References

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  1. Flood, Lennart & Pylkkänen, Elina & Wahlberg, Roger, 2003. "From Welfare to Work: Evaluating a Proposed Tax and Benefit Reform Targeted at Single Mothers in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 107, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-78, Winter.
  5. Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2002. "Collective household models: Principles and main results," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3106943, Tilburg University.
  6. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2002. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Flood, Lennart & Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2003. "Household Labor Supply and Welfare Participation in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:78:y::i:4:p:1490-1518 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. François Bourguignon & Amedeo Spadaro, 2006. "Microsimulation as a Tool for Evaluating Redistribution Policies," Working Papers 20, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  10. Rolf Aaberge, 2000. "Characterizations of Lorenz curves and income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 639-653.
  11. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2008. "Employment, hours of work and the optimal taxation of low income families," IFS Working Papers W08/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Aaberge, Rolf & Flood, Lennart, 2008. "Evaluation of an In-work Tax Credit Reform in Sweden: Effects on Labor Supply and Welfare Participation of Single Mothers," Working Papers in Economics 319, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. Ericson, Peter & Flood, Lennart & Wahlberg, Roger, 2009. "SWEtaxben: A Swedish Tax/benefit Micro Simulation Model and an Evaluation of a Swedish Tax Reform," Working Papers in Economics 346, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & André Decoster & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Welfare, labor supply and heterogeneous preferences: evidence for Europe and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 789-817, October.
  2. Laun, Lisa, 2012. "The E ffect of Age-Targeted Tax Credits on Retirement Behavior," Research Papers in Economics 2012:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Boeters, Stefan, 2010. "Optimal tax progressivity in unionised labour markets: Simulation results for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-035, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Creedy, John & Hérault, Nicolas, 2012. "Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes: The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics," Working Paper Series 2432, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
  5. John Creedy, 2013. "Alternative Distributions for Inequality and Poverty Comparisons," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/11, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Tim Goedemé & Karel Van den Bosch & Lina Salanauskaite & Gerlinde Verbist, 2013. "Testing the Statistical Significance of Microsimulation Results: A Plea," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(3), pages 50-77.
  7. repec:ese:emodwp:em18-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Tim Goedemé & Karel Van den Bosch & Lina Salanauskaite & Gerlinde Verbist, 2013. "Testing the Statistical Significance of Microsimulation Results: Often Easier than You Think. A Technical Note," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/10, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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