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Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise With a Microeconometric Model

Author

Listed:
  • Colombino Ugo

    (University of Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Locatelli Marilena

    (University of Torino)

  • Narazani Edlira

    (University of Torino)

  • O'Donoghue Cathal

    (Rural Economy Research Centre)

Abstract

We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries with differing economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net-tax revenue (fiscal neutrality), the effects of various hypothetical tax-transfer-reform basic-income policies: Guaranteed Minimum Income, Work Fare, Participation Basic Income and Universal Basic Income. We produce indexes and criteria by which the reforms can be ranked and compared to current tax-transfer systems. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. Many versions of basic income policies would be superior to the current system, and the most successful are not means-tested (Universal or Participation Basic Income) and adopt progressive tax rules. If constraints other than fiscal neutrality are considered, such as the implied top marginal tax rate or the effect on female labour supply, the picture changes: unconditional policies remain optimal and feasible in Denmark and the United Kingdom; while in Italy and Portugal universal policies appear instead to be too costly in implied top marginal tax rates and adverse effects on female participation - conditional policies such as Work Fare emerge as more desirable there.

Suggested Citation

  • Colombino Ugo & Locatelli Marilena & Narazani Edlira & O'Donoghue Cathal, 2010. "Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise With a Microeconometric Model," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bistud:v:5:y:2010:i:1:n:3
    DOI: 10.2202/1932-0183.1162
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • 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
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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