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Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives, and Household Welfare?

  • Viktor Steiner
  • Katharina Wrohlich

We analyze the effects of three different proposals to introduce a family tax-splitting system in Germany. The empirical analysis is based on a behavioral microsimulation model, which integrates an empirical household labor-supply model into a detailed tax-benefit model. Our results show that, under each reform, the lion's share of the reduction in taxes would accrue to families in the upper part of the income distribution, and that labor-supply effects are small. If budgetary balance were financed by a reduction of the child benefit, our results suggest that none of the reforms would be welfare-improving.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 115-142

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200803)64:1_115:iftsig_2.0.tx_2-w
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  1. Dearing, Helene & Hofer, Helmut & Lietz, Christine & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2007. "Why are Mothers Working Longer Hours in Austria than in Germany? A Comparative Micro Simulation Analysis," Economics Series 213, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Paul Bernd Spahn & Helmut Kaiser & Thomas Kassella, 1992. "The tax dilemma of married women in Germany," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 22-47, May.
  3. Creedy, J. & Duncan, A., 1999. "Welfare, Non-Linear Busget Constraints and Behavioural Microsimulation," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 688, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Viktor Steiner & Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2005. "Dokumentation des Steuer-Transfer-Mikrosimulationsmodells STSM 1999 - 2002," Data Documentation 9, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 421, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Matthias Wrede, 2003. "The Income Splitting Method: Is it Good for Both Marriage Partners?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 203-216, 05.
  7. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "The Taxation of Couples," CEPR Discussion Papers 559, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Baclet, Alexandre & Dell, Fabien & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "Income Taxation and Household Size: Would French Family Splitting Make German Families Better Off?," IZA Discussion Papers 1894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Maiterth, Ralf, 2005. "Familienpolitik und deutsches Einkommensteuerrecht: empirische Ergebnisse und familienpolitische Schlussfolgerungen," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 7, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  11. Homburg, Stefan, 2000. "Das einkommensteuerliche Ehegattensplitting," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 261-268.
  12. Bergs, Christian & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas & Schaefer, Thilo, 2006. "Das Familienrealsplitting als Reformoption der Familienbesteuerung," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 86(10), pages 639-644.
  13. 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.
  14. Laisney, François & Beninger, Denis & Beblo, Miriam, 2003. "Family Tax Splitting: A Microsimulation of its Potential Labour Supply and Intra-household Welfare Effects in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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