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Traitement fiscal optimal des familles quand la fécondité est endogène

Listed author(s):
  • Cigno, Alessandro

    (Université de Florence)

  • Pettini, Anna

    (Université de Florence)

The effects and optimal choice of policy instruments affecting the family (child benefits, taxes on child-specific goods, etc.) are examined within the context of a household economics model with fertility choice. The simultaneous consideration of child benefits, and income and commodity taxes in the presence of endogenous fertility yields some remarkable results. One is that differences between families in the ability to raise children and thus, other things equal, in the number of children, may be fiscally irrelevant if the government can make personalized lump-sum transfers (taxes/subsidies) to families. Another and, perhaps, more striking result is that, if the government cannot make personalized lump-sum transfers, but can distinguish between child-specific and adult-specific goods, it may then be optimal to tax family size and subsidize child-specific goods (i.e., to subsidize parents in a way that induces them to spend more for each child they beget, rather than to have more children and skimp on their maintenance). Les effets et le choix optimal d’instruments de politique destinés aux familles (allocations pour enfants à charge, taxes sur les biens consommés spécifiquement par les enfants, etc.) sont analysés à l’aide d’un modèle économique où les ménages possèdent un choix en matière de fécondité. Quand la fécondité est un facteur endogène, nous obtenons des résultats remarquables si nous considérons simultanément les avantages pour enfants à charge et l’imposition du revenu et de la consommation. Entre autres, les différentes capacités des familles à élever des enfants et, par conséquent, toutes choses étant égales par ailleurs, les variations du nombre d’enfants, peuvent ne pas être pertinentes d’un point de vue fiscal si l’État peut effectuer des transferts forfaitaires (impôts/subventions) personnalisés aux familles. Plus surprenant encore, on peut montrer que, si l’État est dans l’impossibilité de procéder à des transferts forfaitaires personnalisés, mais qu’il est en mesure de distinguer les biens consommés exclusivement par les enfants de ceux qui sont propres aux adultes, il pourrait alors être optimal d’imposer selon le nombre d’enfants et de subventionner les biens propres aux enfants (c’est-à-dire d’aider financièrement les parents de manière à les inciter à dépenser davantage pour chaque enfant mis au monde, plutôt que de les amener à avoir plus d’enfants et à lésiner quand il s’agit de subvenir à leurs besoins).

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 75 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (mars-juin-septembre)
Pages: 239-252

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:75:y:1999:i:1:p:239-252
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  1. Whittington, Leslie A & Alm, James & Peters, H Elizabeth, 1990. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 545-556, June.
  2. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
  3. Pestieau, Pierre, 1984. "The Effects of Varying Family Size on the Transmission and Distribution of Wealth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 400-417, November.
  4. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  5. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1984. "Income distribution policies with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 221-230, July.
  6. M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), 1997. "Handbook of Population and Family Economics," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
  7. Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-1051, December.
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