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Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model

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Author Info

  • Colombino, Ugo

    ()
    (University of Turin)

  • Locatelli, Marilena

    ()
    (University of Turin)

  • Narazani, Edlira

    ()
    (University of Turin)

  • O'Donoghue, Cathal

    ()
    (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)

Abstract

We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net tax revenue (fiscal neutrality), the effects of various hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include alternative versions of a Basic Income policy: Guaranteed Minimum Income, Work Fare, Participation Basic Income and Universal Basic Income. We produce indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked and compared to the current tax-transfer systems. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. It turns out that many versions of the Basic Income policies would be superior to the current system. The most successful policies are those involving non means-tested versions of basic income (Universal or Participation Basic Income) and adopting progressive tax-rules. If – besides the fiscal neutrality constraint – also other constraints are considered, such as the implied top marginal top tax rate or the effect on female labour supply, the picture changes: unconditional policies remain optimal and feasible in Denmark and the UK; instead in Italy and Portugal universal policies appear to be too costly in terms of implied top marginal tax rates and in terms of adverse effects on female participation, and conditional policies such as Work-Fare, emerge as more desirable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4781.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Basic Income Studies, 2010, 5 (1)
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4781

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Related research

Keywords: welfare evaluation; minimum guaranteed income; work fare; universal basic income; participation basic income; models of labour supply; tax reforms; optimal taxation;

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References

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  1. François Bourguignon & Amedeo Spadaro, 2006. "Microsimulation as a Tool for Evaluating Redistribution Policies," Working Papers 20, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Fortin, B. & Truchon, M., 1990. "On Reforming the Welfare System: Workfare Meets the Negative Income Tax," Cahiers de recherche 9016, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Standing Guy, 2008. "How Cash Transfers Promote the Case for Basic Income," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, July.
  4. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/20, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families," Working Papers 1307, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  7. Duncan, Alan & Giles, Christopher, 1996. "Labour Supply Incentives and Recent Family Credit Reforms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 142-55, January.
  8. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Strom, Steinar, 1999. "Labour Supply in Italy: An Empirical Analysis of Joint Household Decisions, with Taxes and Quantity Constraints," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 403-22, July-Aug..
  9. 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.
  10. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Tom Wennemo, 2006. "Evaluating alternative representations of the choice sets in models of labour supply," ICER Working Papers 2-2006, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  11. Rolf Aaberge, 2006. "Gini’s Nuclear Family," Discussion Papers 491, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  12. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2006. "Designing Optimal Taxes with a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply," Discussion Papers 475, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  13. Ricardo Varsano & Kevin Kim & Michael Keen, 2006. "The "Flat Tax(es)"," IMF Working Papers 06/218, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Haan, Peter & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2007. "Optimal Taxation: The Design of Child Related Cash- and In-Kind-Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 3128, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Sen, Amartya, 1974. "Informational bases of alternative welfare approaches : Aggregation and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-403, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Meade, James E, 1972. "Poverty in the Welfare State," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 289-326, November.
  18. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
  19. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, September.
  20. Roed,K. & Strom,S., 1999. "Progressive taxes and the labour market : is the trade-off between equality and efficiency inevitable?," Memorandum 19/1999, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  21. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  22. Colombino, Ugo, 1998. "Evaluating the effects of new telephone tariffs on residential users' demand and welfare. A model for Italy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 283-303, September.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Basic income vs capitalism
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-07-02 13:34:26
  2. Why not a basic income?
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-10-16 11:50:15
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:emodwp:em8-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Colombino Ugo, 2012. "Equilibrium simulation with microeconometric models. A new procedure with an application to income support policies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201209, University of Turin.
  3. Ugo Colombine, 2013. "A new equilibrium simulation procedure with discrete choice models," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(3), pages 25-49.
  4. Colombino, Ugo & Narazani, Edlira, 2014. "Closing the Gender Gap: Gender Based Taxation, Wage Subsidies or Basic Income?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201412, University of Turin.
  5. Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Colombino Ugo & Narazani Edlira, 2012. "What’s Best for Women: Gender Based Taxation, Wage Subsidies or Basic Income?"," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201212, University of Turin.
  7. Colombino Ugo, 2012. "A microeconometric-computational approach to empirical optimal taxation: outline of a project," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201218, University of Turin.
  8. repec:ese:emodwp:em10-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Edlira Narazani, 2011. "Evidences on Household Labour Supply when Labour Demand is not Perfectly Elastic Keywords: Labour Supply, Labour Demand, Equilibrium," CHILD Working Papers wp22_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  10. Ugo Colombino, 2011. "Five issues in the design of income support mechanisms. The case of Italy," CHILD Working Papers wp21_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  11. Colombino Ugo & Narazani Edlira, 2013. "Designing a Universal Income Support Mechanism for Italy: An Exploratory Tour," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, July.
  12. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2011. "Empirical Optimal Income Taxation: A Microeconometric Application to Norway," CHILD Working Papers wp16_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  13. 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.
  14. Colombino, Ugo, 2014. "Five Crossroads on the Way to Basic Income: An Italian Tour," IZA Discussion Papers 8087, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. repec:ese:emodwp:em5-12 is not listed on IDEAS

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