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On Modeling Household Labor Supply With Taxation

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  • Olivier Bargain

    (University College of Dublin)

Abstract

Discrete choice models of labor supply easily account for nonlinearity and nonconvexity in budget sets caused by tax-benefit systems. As a result, they have become very popular for ex ante evaluations of policy reforms. In this paper, we question whether the degree of flexibility and the implicit household representation in these models are satisfying when confronted to the data. First, we show that attempts to interpret discrete models structurally lead to unnecessary parametric restrictions in most studies. We suggest instead a fully flexible model that retains usual assumptions on economic rationality except regularity conditions on leisure. Indeed, coefficients may account for both tastes and costs of work, possibly making 'preferences' appear nonconvex. Second, we show that the static unitary representation, implicit in most tax policy analyses, is rejected against a more general model with price- and income- dependent preferences. The latter can be rationalized in terms of collective or intertemporal models and offers promising perspectives in these directions. Simulations show that the magnitude of predicted labor supply responses to tax-benefit reforms is sensitive to the underlying household representation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200711.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200711

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Keywords: multinomial logit; household labor supply; tax reform; unitary model; collective model;

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Cited by:
  1. Arntz, Melanie & Boeters, Stefan & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Schubert, Stefanie, 2008. "Analysing welfare reform in a microsimulation-AGE model: The value of disaggregation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 422-439, May.
  2. Melanie Arntz & Stefan Boeters & Nicole Gürtzgen & Stefanie Schubert, 2006. "Analysing Welfare Reform in a Microsimulation-AGE Model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 109, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. François Bourguignon & Amedeo Spadaro, 2006. "Microsimulation as a Tool for Evaluating Redistribution Policies," Working Papers 20, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  4. Daniele Pacifico, 2013. "On the role of unobserved preference heterogeneity in discrete choice models of labour supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 929-963, October.
  5. François Bourguignon & Amedeo Spadaro, 2012. "Tax–benefit revealed social preferences," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 75-108, March.
  6. repec:ese:emodwp:em4-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:ese:emodwp:em9-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Pacifico, Daniele, 2009. "Modelling Unobserved Heterogeneity in Discrete Choice Models of Labour Supply," MPRA Paper 19030, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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