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Reforming Family Taxation in Germany: Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects

  • Hans Fehr
  • Manuel Kallweit
  • Fabian Kindermann

The present paper quantifies the economic consequences of eliminating the system of income splitting in Germany. We apply a dynamic simulation model with overlapping generations where single and married agents have to decide on labor supply and homework facing income and lifespan risk. The numerical exercise computes the resulting welfare changes across households and isolates aggregate efficiency effects of a move towards either individual taxation or family splitting. Our results indicate strongly that a switch towards individual taxation performs best in terms of economic efficiency due to reduced labor market distortions and improved insurance provision. In our benchmark calibration the efficiency gain amounts to roughly 0.4 percent of aggregate resources. Excluding home production significantly reduces aggregate efficiency gains while including marital risk slightly improves the efficiency of individual taxation.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.434125.de/diw_sp0613.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 613.

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Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp613
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  6. Hans Fehr & Daniela Ujhelyiova, 2011. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply, and Family Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3455, CESifo Group Munich.
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  13. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
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  17. Kelly S. Ragan, 2013. "Taxes and Time Use: Fiscal Policy in a Household Production Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 168-92, January.
  18. Christoph Schinke, 2012. "Inheritance in Germany 1911 to 2009: A Mortality Multiplier Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 462, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  22. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2011. "A Switch from Joint to Individual Taxation Is Welfare Improving," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1175, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  23. Hong, Jay H. & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2007. "Social security, life insurance and annuities for families," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 118-140, January.
  24. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives and Household Welfare?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 44, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  25. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2012. "Taxation and Household Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1113-1149.
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  27. Bayer, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2009. "The Life-Cycle and the Business-Cycle of Wage Risk: A Cross-Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 4402, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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