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Assessing the Distributional Effects of Housing Taxation in Italy: From the Actual Tax Code to Imputed Rent

  • Simone Pellegrino
  • Massimiliano Piacenza
  • Gilberto Turati

The presence of extensive housing subsidies characterises the current tax systems as inefficient. In this paper, we study whether inefficiency is the price to be paid to improve equity, by assessing the actual distributive impact of housing taxation on Italian households. We concentrate on the personal income tax on the main residence, and compare provisions of the Tax Code with an alternative approach, by considering the imputed rent from owner-occupied dwelling as a component of the Personal Income Tax gross income. Our results suggest that current tax system is just as inefficient as it is inequitable.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3368.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3368
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S225-S258, December.
  2. Garner, Thesia I. & Short, Kathleen, 2009. "Accounting for owner-occupied dwelling services: Aggregates and distributions," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 233-248, September.
  3. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2003. "Imputed Rent and Income Inequality: A Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, West Germany and the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 513-537, December.
  4. Richard K. Green & Michelle J. White, 1994. "Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 93, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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  6. Aaron, Henry, 1970. "Income Taxes and Housing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 789-806, December.
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  8. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire, 2009. "Non-Cash Benefits and the Distribution of Economic Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 3954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Yagi, Tadashi & Tachibanaki, Toshiaki, 1998. "Income Redistribution through the Tax System: A Simulation Analysis of Tax Reform," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(3), pages 397-415, September.
  10. Jorge Onrubia & M. Carmen Rodado & Luis Ayala, 2009. "How do services of owner-occupied housing affect income inequality and redistribution?," Working Papers 112, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  11. Simone Pellegrino & Achille Vernizzi, 2010. "The 2007 Personal Income Tax Reform in Italy: Effects on Potential Equity, Horizontal Inequity and Re-ranking," Working papers 14, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  12. Gabriella Berloffa & Paola Villa, 2010. "Differences In Equivalent Income Across Cohorts Of Households: Evidence From Italy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(4), pages 693-714, December.
  13. Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2011. "Developing a static microsimulation model for the analysis of housing taxation in Italy," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 4(2), pages 73-85.
  14. Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini & Timothy M Smeeding, 2007. "Comparing wealth distribution across rich countries: the Luxembourg Wealth Study project," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 1, volume 25, pages 297-310 Bank for International Settlements.
  15. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Do people respond to tax incentives? An analysis of the Italian reform of the deductibility of home mortgage interests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 247-271, February.
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