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Analyzing a Flat Income Tax in the Netherlands

  • Ruud A. De Mooij
  • Bas Jacobs
  • Kees Folmer

A flat tax rate on income has gained popularity in European countries. This paper assesses the attractiveness of such a flat tax in achieving redistributive objectives with the least cost to labour market performance. We do so by using a detailed applied general equilibrium model for the Netherlands. The model is empirically grounded in the data and encompasses decisions on hours worked, labour force participation, skill formation, wage bargaining between unions and firms, matching frictions, and a wide variety of institutional details. The simulations suggest that the replacement of the current tax system in the Netherlands by a flat rate will harm labour market performance if aggregate income inequality is contained. This finding bolsters the notion that a linear tax is less efficient than a non-linear tax to obtain redistributive goals.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-01/cesifo1_wp1890.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1890.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1890
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  1. Bovenberg, A.L. & Jacobs, B., 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Discussion Paper 2001-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
  3. Diamond, P., 1994. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Exemple with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," Working papers 94-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Bovenberg, A.L. & Graafland, J.J. & de Mooij, R.A., 2000. "Tax reform and the Dutch labour market : An applied general equilibrium approach," Other publications TiSEM a22f887a-ce1a-4aa2-ad01-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
  6. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  7. Michiel Evers & Ruud A. de Mooij & Daniel J. van Vuuren, 2006. "What explains the Variation in Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-017/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, March.
  9. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005036 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Graafland, J.J. & Huizinga, F.H., 1998. "Taxes and benefits in a non-linear wage equation," MPRA Paper 21076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Saez, Emmanuel, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
  12. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. van Ewijk, Casper & Tang, Paul J.G., 2007. "Unions, progressive taxes, and education subsidies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1119-1139, December.
  14. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  15. Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Optimal Income Taxation with Endogenous Human Capital," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 295-315, 05.
  16. Ricardo Varsano & Kevin Kim & Michael Keen, 2006. "The "Flat Tax(es)"; Principles and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/218, International Monetary Fund.
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