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Distributional Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000 - A Behavioral Microsimulation Analysis


  • Peter Haan
  • Viktor Steiner


In the year 2000, the German government passed the most ambitious tax reform in postwar German history aiming at significant tax relief for households. We analyze the effects of this reform on the distribution of household incomes using a behavioral microsimulation model based on representative micro-data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Our empirical analysis accounts for the effects of bracket creeping and labor supply adjustment on the distribution of household incomes. We find that the tax reform leads to a significant increase in net household income. The relative gains increase with taxable income, thus income inequality is rising. This is slightly mitigated by the impact of the labor supply responses induced by the reform, especially at the lower end of the income distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Haan & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Distributional Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000 - A Behavioral Microsimulation Analysis," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 39-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v125_y2005_i1_q1_p39-49

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
    5. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    7. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-348, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas PEICHL, "undated". "The Benefits of Linking CGE and Microsimulation Models - Evidence from a Flat Tax analysis," EcoMod2008 23800106, EcoMod.
    2. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives, and Household Welfare?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 115-142, March.
    3. Peichl, Andreas & Schneider, Hilmar & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2010. "Documentation IZA?MOD: The IZA Policy SImulation MODel," IZA Discussion Papers 4865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia & Tom Kornstad & Thor O. Thoresen, 2014. "Theoretical And Practical Arguments For Modeling Labor Supply As A Choice Among Latent Jobs," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 134-151, February.
    5. Kristian Orsini & Olivier Bargain, 2006. "Beans for breakfast? How exportable is the British workfare model?," Open Access publications 10197/557, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Heiko Müller & Caren Sureth, 2009. "Income tax statistics analysis: A comparison of microsimulation versus group simulation," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 2(1), pages 32-48.
    7. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2015. "Validation of the discrete choice labor supply model by methods of the new tax responsiveness literature," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 38-53.
    8. Frank M. Fossen, 2007. "Risky Earnings, Taxation and Entrepreneurial Choice: A Microeconometric Model for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 705, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Richard Ochmann, 2016. "Distributional and welfare effects of Germany’s year 2000 tax reform: the context of savings and portfolio choice," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 93-123, August.
    10. Alexandre Baclet & Fabien Dell & Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2005. "Verteilungseffekte der staatlichen Familienförderung: ein empirischer Vergleich zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich ; Kurzexpertise ; Forschungsprojekt im Auftrag der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Forschungs," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 9, number pbk9.
    11. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2015. "Empirical welfare analysis with preference heterogeneity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 224-251, April.
    12. John Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia & Kristian Orsini & Guy Camp, 2011. "Subsidies on low-skilled workers’ social security contributions: the case of Belgium," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 779-806, May.
    13. Peter Haan & Dolores Navarro, 2008. "Optimal Income Taxation of Married Couples: An Empirical Analysis of Joint and Individual Taxation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 838, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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