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An Analysis of Effective Marginal Tax Rates in Quebec

  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • Bernard Fortin
  • Andrée-Anne Fournier

This article draws a portrait of effective marginal tax rates (EMTRs) on labour income in Quebec. It aims to improve the understanding of the impact of tax policy on the behaviour of economic agents. Using an accounting microsimulation model that reproduces the system of taxes and transfers in 2002 in Quebec, we measure the EMTRs that result from the interaction of the mechanisms of income taxation and redistribution. Moreover, we evaluate the distribution of EMTRs in the population. The analysis of EMTRs shows, inter alia , that family policy, whose assistance is targeted toward low-income families, generates high levels of EMTRs ascribable to the generally fast reduction of transfers as income increases. More than a quarter of heads of single-parent households face an EMTR that can reach, and even exceed, 80 percent. As for two-parent families, they mostly face EMTRs of around 50 percent. We show the importance of accounting for EMTR heterogeneity, both with respect to types of families and levels of incomes, as well as evaluating the variability of EMTRs in the population.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.35.3.344
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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 35 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 344-371

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:35:y:2009:i:3:p:344-371
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  1. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1994. "Labour supply, tax evasion and the marginal cost of public funds an empirical investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 407-431, November.
  2. Dahlby, Bev, 1998. "Progressive taxation and the social marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 105-122, January.
  3. Browning, Edgar K, 1976. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 283-98, April.
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