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Reinventing the Dutch tax-benefit system; exploring the frontier of the equity-efficiency trade-off

Author

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  • Ruud de Mooij

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

European governments aim to raise labour supply, cut unemployment and, at the same time, maintain social cohesion. Yet, economists have stressed the trade-off between these objectives. This paper reviews the key policy insights from optimal tax theory to identify options for reform in the tax-benefit system that can potentially improve the equity-efficiency trade-off. Using a comprehensive applied general equilibrium model, we then explore whether reforms along these lines in the actual Dutch tax-benefit system will raise employment without sacrificing equality. The analysis reveals that selective tax relief for elastic secondary earners and low-skilled workers have this potential. A flat income tax structure possibly combined with a negative income tax worsens the equity-efficiency trade-off.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruud de Mooij, 2007. "Reinventing the Dutch tax-benefit system; exploring the frontier of the equity-efficiency trade-off," CPB Discussion Paper 88, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:88
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Figari, Francesco, 2011. "From housewives to independent earners: can the tax system help Italian women to work?," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Eliane El Badaoui & Riccardo Magnani, 2015. "Tax Policies and Informality in South Africa," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-22, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    3. H. W. Boer, 2016. "For Better or for Worse: Tax Reform in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(2), pages 125-157, June.
    4. Bas Jacobs, 2013. "From Optimal Tax Theory to Applied Tax Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4151, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Stefania Marcassa & Fabrizio Colonna, 2011. "Taxation and Labor Force Participation: The Case of Italy," THEMA Working Papers 2011-22, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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