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On The Optimal Fiscal Treatment Of Family Size

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  • Alessandro Balestrino

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Abstract

Should a benevolent social planner subsidise family size? Typically, contributions assuming exogenous fertility yield an a¢rmative answer, while those assuming endogenous fertility do not reach de…nite conclusions. We re-examine the endogenous fertility model, and …nd that when redistribution is accomplished mostly using non-income taxes, there is indeed a case for subsidising the number of children, as long as poor families tend to have more children. Instead, when redistribution is pursued prevalently using a non-linear income tax, the above rationale for children subsidisation disappears. We …nally argue that whether children are a tax asset or a tax liability depends however on all the policy instruments, and not only on the tax treatment of family size.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY in its series CHILD Working Papers with number wp04_01.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp04_01

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Keywords: endogenous fertility; taxation of family size; optimal linear and non-linear taxation; vertical equity;

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References

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  1. Balcer, Yves & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Equivalence scales, horizontal equity and optimal taxation under utilitarianism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 79-97, February.
  2. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
  3. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, . "Optimum Taxation and the Allocation of Time," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-16, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1998. "On the Taxation of Trade Within and Between Households," Papers 337, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  5. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "Corrigendum [On Optimal Family Allowances]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 329, July.
  6. Batina, Raymond G., 1987. "The consumption tax in the presence of altruistic cash and human capital bequests with endogenous fertility decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 329-354, December.
  7. Dasgupta, Partha, 2000. "Reproductive externalities and fertility behaviour," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 619-644, May.
  8. Sandmo, Agnar, 1990. "Tax Distortions and Household Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 78-90, January.
  9. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
  10. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
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Cited by:
  1. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2013. "Reducing the excess burden of subsidizing the stork: Joint taxation, individual taxation, and family tax splitting," Munich Reprints in Economics 19213, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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