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A Microsimulation Approach to an Optimal Swedish Income Tax

  • Peter Ericson

    ()

    (Empirica, Högbergsgatan 50, SE 118 26 Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Lennart Flood

    (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics)

The purpose of this paper is to identify a Swedish tax/benefit design that maximizes social welfare. A two stage process is proposed where individuals’ preferred choice of leisure and consumption is solved in the first stage, and the second stage identifies the tax/benefit system that maximizes the social welfare function. The study deviates from the mainstream literature as the first stage is based on a micro simulation model with estimated behavioural responses. We estimate a structural model for a sample of workers or voluntary non-workers that describes heterogeneity in consumption-leisure preferences for different household types. Models that describe the participation decision for the unemployed as well as individuals outside the labour force are also included. The results suggest that increased housing allowance, basic deduction, and in-work tax credit in combination with a reduction of the progressive national taxes would increase welfare.

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Article provided by International Microsimulation Association in its journal International Journal of Microsimulation.

Volume (Year): 2 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 2-21

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Handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v:5:y:2012:i:2:p:2-21
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.microsimulation.org/ijm/

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  1. Frederic VERMEULEN, 2000. "Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0028, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Flood, Lennart & Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2003. "Household Labour Supply and Welfare Participation in Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 3905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2002. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Aaberge, Rolf & Flood, Lennart, 2008. "Evaluation of an In-Work Tax Credit Reform in Sweden: Effects on Labor Supply and Welfare Participation of Single Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 3736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ericson, Peter & Flood, Lennart & Wahlberg, Roger, 2009. "SWEtaxben: A Swedish Tax/Benefit Micro Simulation Model and an Evaluation of a Swedish Tax Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 4106, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
  7. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families," Working Papers 1307, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  9. Rolf Aaberge, 2000. "Characterizations of Lorenz curves and income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 639-653.
  10. repec:oup:restud:v:78:y::i:4:p:1490-1518 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," NBER Working Papers 3038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Flood, Lennart & Pylkkänen, Elina & Wahlberg, Roger, 2003. "From Welfare to Work: Evaluating a Proposed Tax and Benefit Reform Targeted at Single Mothers in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 891, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  14. François Bourguignon & Amadéo Spadaro, 2005. "Microsimulation as a tool for evaluating redistribution policies," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590863, HAL.
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