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Modelling Unobserved Heterogeneity in Discrete Choice Models of Labour Supply

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  • Pacifico, Daniele

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of unobserved heterogeneity in structural discrete choice models of labour supply for the evaluation of tax-reforms. Within this framework, unobserved heterogeneity has been estimated either parametrically or nonparametrically through random co- efficient models. Nevertheless, the estimation of such models by means of standard, gradient-based methods is often difficult, in particular if the number of random parameters is high. Given the relative big set of pa- rameters that enter in labour supply models, many researchers have to reduce the role of unobserved heterogeneity by specifying only a small set of random coefficients. However, this simplification affects the estimated labour supply elasticities, which then might hardly change when unob- served heterogeneity is considered in the model. In this paper, we present a new estimation method based on an EM algorithm that allows us to fully consider the effect of unobserved heterogeneity nonparametrically. Results show that labour supply elasticities do change significantly when the full set of coefficients is assumed to be random. Moreover, we analyse the behavioural effects of the introduction of a working-tax credit scheme in the Italian tax-benefit system and show that the magnitude of labour supply reactions and post-reform income distribution do change signifi- cantly when unobserved heterogeneity is fully considered.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19030.

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Date of creation: 15 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19030

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Related research

Keywords: Labour supply; discrete choice model; latent class models; EM algorithm; mixed logit; random coefficients; working tax credit;

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References

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  1. Frederic Vermeulen & Olivier Bargain & Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger & Richard Blundell & Raquel Carrasco & Maria-Concetta Chiuri & François Laisney & Valérie Lechene & Nicolas Moreau & Michal Myck , 2006. "Collective Models of Labor Supply with Nonconvex Budget Sets and Nonparticipation: A Calibration Approach," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 113-127, 06.
  2. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. William Greene, 2001. "Fixed and Random Effects in Nonlinear Models," Working Papers 01-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Haan, Peter & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2007. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Involuntary Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 2888, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Greene, William H. & Hensher, David A., 2003. "A latent class model for discrete choice analysis: contrasts with mixed logit," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 681-698, September.
  7. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2006. "Income distribution in discrete hours behavioural microsimulation models: An illustration," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 57-76, April.
  8. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-89, August.
  9. Wrohlich, Katharina, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Peter Haan, 2006. "Much ado about nothing: conditional logit vs. random coefficient models for estimating labour supply elasticities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 251-256.
  11. Massimo Baldini & Daniele Pacifico, 2009. "The recent reforms of the Italian personal income tax: distributive and efficiency effects," Department of Economics 0611, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Olivier Bargain, 2007. "On Modeling Household Labor Supply With Taxation," Working Papers 200711, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  15. Chiappori, P.A. & Ekeland, I., 2006. "The micro economics of group behavior: General characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 1-26, September.
  16. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
  17. Lennart Flood & Nizamul Islam, 2005. "A Monte Carlo evaluation of discrete choice labour supply models," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(5), pages 263-266.
  18. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ambra Poggi & Matteo G. Richiardi, 2012. "Imputing Individual Effects in Dynamic Microsimulation Models.An application of the Rank Method," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 124, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  2. Ambra Poggi & Matteo Richiardi, 2012. "Accounting for Unobserved Heterogeneity in Discrete-time, Discrete-choice Dynamic Microsimulation Models. An application to Labor Supply and Household Formation in Italy," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 117, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  3. Anna Kurowska & Michal Myck & Katharina Wrohlich, 2012. "Family and Labor Market Choices: Requirements to Guide Effective Evidence-Based Policy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1234, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Patricia Apps & Jan Kabátek & Ray Rees & Arthur van Soest, 2012. "Labor Supply Heterogeneity and Demand for Child Care of Mothers with Young Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 677, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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