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Distributional and Fiscal Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000: A Behavioral Microsimulation Analysis


  • Peter Haan
  • Viktor Steiner


In the year 2000, the German government passed the most ambitious tax reform in postwar German history aiming at a significant tax relief for households. Drawing on data of the GSOEP, we analyze the distributional and fiscal effects of the tax reform. Our analysis employs microsimulation techniques. Furthermore, we estimate behavioral effects of the tax reform using a discrete choice labor supply model. We find that the tax reform leads to a significant increase of net household income. The relative gains increase with taxable income, thus income inequality is rising. We also find that behavioral effects reduce the revenue loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Haan & Viktor Steiner, 2004. "Distributional and Fiscal Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000: A Behavioral Microsimulation Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 419, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp419

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "It's Not About the Money: Why Natural Experiments Don't Work on the Rich," NBER Working Papers 6395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert A. Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 1998. "Taxation and the Labor Supply: Decisions of the Affluent," NBER Working Papers 6621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
    4. Stefan Homburg, 2000. "German Tax Reform 2000. Description and Appraisal," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(4), pages 504-513, August.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    6. Peter Haan, 2004. "Discrete Choice Labor Supply: Conditional Logit vs. Random Coefficient Models," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 394, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. John Creedy & Alan Duncan, 2005. "Aggregating Labour Supply and Feedback Effects in Microsimulation," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 8(3), pages 277-290, September.
    8. Gerhard Wagenhals, 2000. "Incentive and Redistribution Effects of the German Tax Reform 2000," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(3), pages 316-316, May.
    9. Wagenhals Gerhard, 2000. "Arbeitsangebotseffekte des Steuer- und Transfersystems in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland / Labour Supply Effects of the Tax and Benefit System in the Federal Republic of Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 220(2), pages 191-213, April.
    10. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
    11. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives – A Microsimulation Study for Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 541-568.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Bach & Peter Haan & Ralf Maiterth & Caren Sureth, 2004. "Modelle für die Vermögensbesteuerung von natürlichen Personen und Kapitalgesellschaften: Konzepte, Aufkommen, wirtschaftliche Wirkungen ; Endbericht ; Forschungsprojekt im Auftrag der Bundestagsfrakti," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 1, number pbk1.
    2. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "In-work policies in Europe: Killing two birds with one stone?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 667-697, December.
    3. Amadéo Spadaro, 2008. "Optimal taxation, social contract and the four worlds of welfare capitalism," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586290, HAL.
    4. Olivier Bargain & Amedeo Spadaro, 2008. "Optimal taxation, social contract and the four worlds of welfare capitalism," Working Papers 200816, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    5. Alfred Boss & Achim Boss & Thomas Boss, 2008. "Der deutsche Einkommensteuertarif: Wieder eine Wachstumsbremse?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(1), pages 102-124, February.
    6. Zhu, Junyi, 2015. "Bracket creep revisited - with and without r>g: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers 37/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2015. "Zukunftsfähigkeit in den Mittelpunkt. Jahresgutachten 2015/16," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201516.
    8. Ondřej Schneider & Tomáš Jelínek, 2005. "Distributive Impact of Czech Social Security and Tax Systems: Dynamics in Early 2000s," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2005(3), pages 221-237.

    More about this item


    Tax reform; Behavioral effects; Distribution and fiscal effects;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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