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Means-Testing the Child Benefit

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  • Tom Kornstad
  • Thor O. Thoresen

Abstract

Improving the distributional impact of transfers may be costly if it reduces labor supply. In this paper we show how effects of changes in the design of the child benefit program can be examined by employing information from behavioral and non-behavioral simulations on micro data. The direct distributional effects are assessed by tax-benefit model calculations, while female labor supply responses to alternative child benefit schemes are simulated under the assumption that choices are discrete. Distributional effects after labor supply responses are also shown. The study confirms that greater targeting of the child benefit is traded against reductions in female labor supply. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Kornstad & Thor O. Thoresen, 2004. "Means-Testing the Child Benefit," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 29-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:50:y:2004:i:1:p:29-49
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
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    3. Besley, Timothy, 1990. "Means Testing versus Universal Provision in Poverty Alleviation Programmes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(225), pages 119-129, February.
    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. Creedy, John, 1998. "Means-Tested versus Universal Transfers: Alternative Models and Value Judgements," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 66(1), pages 100-117, January.
    6. Paul Bingley & Gauthier Lanot & Elizabeth Symons & Ian Walker, 1995. "Child Support Reform and the Labor Supply of Lone Mothers in the United Kingdom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 256-279.
    7. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-1085, December.
    8. Creedy, John, 1996. "Comparing Tax and Transfer Systems: Poverty, Inequality and Target Efficiency," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 163-174, Suppl..
    9. Duncan, Alan & Weeks, Melvyn, 1997. "Behavioural tax microsimulation with finite hours choices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 619-626, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Aaberge & U. Colombino & T. Wennemo, 2009. "Evaluating Alternative Representations Of The Choice Sets In Models Of Labor Supply," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 586-612, July.
    2. Tom Kornstad & Thor O. Thoresen, 2006. "Effects of family policy reforms in Norway: results from a joint labour supply and childcare choice microsimulation analysis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(3), pages 339-371, August.
    3. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 697-734, December.
    4. Guyonne Kalb & Thor Thoresen, 2010. "A comparison of family policy designs of Australia and Norway using microsimulation models," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 255-287, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental 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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