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Fiscal Instruments of a Support of the Families with Children and their Changes in Developed Countries

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  • Leoš Vítek

Abstract

Governments usually try to use fiscal instruments to support the families with children. However, fiscal instruments also affect the work effort and labour demand. Problems associated with (de)stimulantive effects of taxes, insurance premia and benefits arise, among other things, also due to the fact that because of various reasons, these instruments are not effectively coordinated and often operate in opposite directions. The article analyses changes in fiscal instruments of a support of the families with children in developed countries over the past decade and focuses on the development of selected tax-benefit indicators that describe the fundamental characteristics of the taxation of the families with children. Given that the universal, family-type social benefits often take the form of negative taxes, the paper includes also this type of family benefits. The results of the analysis show that the vast majority of developed countries strongly support the families with children via fiscal instruments. It also turns out that over the past decade the governments have rather reduced effective taxation of the families with children. During the last two years, however, some countries recorded an increase in the taxation of families, including the families with children. Countries that have over the past ten years successfully sought to support the families with children relied on progressive reliefs or benefits targeted at the families with more than two children.

Suggested Citation

  • Leoš Vítek, 2011. "Fiscal Instruments of a Support of the Families with Children and their Changes in Developed Countries," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(4), pages 60-84.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlefa:v:2011:y:2011:i:4:id:20:p:60-84
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Support of the families with children; Taxes; Family benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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