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What’s best for women: gender based taxation, wage subsidies or basic income?

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  • Colombino, Ugo
  • Narazani, Edlira

Abstract

Gender based taxation (GBT) has been recently proposed as a promising policy in order toimprove women’s status in the labour market and within the family. We use a microeconometricmodel of household labour supply in order to evaluate, with Italian data, the behavioural andwelfare effects of GBT as compared to other policies based on different optimal taxationprinciples. The comparison is interesting because GBT, although technically correct, might faceimplementation difficulties not shared by other policies that in turn might produce comparablebenefits. The simulation procedure accounts for the constraints implied by fiscal neutrality andmarket equilibrium. Our results support to some extent the expectations of GBT’s proponents.However it is not an unquestionable success. GBT induces a modest increase of women’semployment, but similar effects can be attained by universal subsidies on low wages. When thepolicies are evaluated in terms of welfare, GBT ranks first among single women but for the wholepopulation the best policies are subsidies on low wages, unconditional transfers or a combinationof the two.

Suggested Citation

  • Colombino, Ugo & Narazani, Edlira, 2013. "What’s best for women: gender based taxation, wage subsidies or basic income?," EUROMOD Working Papers EM10/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em10-13
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    1. Peter Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 165-190, Fall.
    2. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Steinar Strøm, 2004. "Do more equal slices shrink the cake? An empirical investigation of tax-transfer reform proposals in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(4), pages 767-785, December.
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    5. Alberto Alesina & Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Gender-Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40, May.
    6. Colombino, Ugo, 2012. "Equilibrium Simulation with Microeconometric Models: A New Procedure with an Application to Income Support Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 6679, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2005. "Designing Optimal Taxes With a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply," Public Economics 0510013, EconWPA.
    8. Apps,Patricia & Rees,Ray, 2009. "Public Economics and the Household," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521716284.
    9. Colombino Ugo & Locatelli Marilena & Narazani Edlira & O'Donoghue Cathal, 2010. "Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise With a Microeconometric Model," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, September.
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    11. Massimo Baldini & Stefano Toso & Paolo Bosi, 2002. "Targeting welfare in Italy: old problems and perspectives on reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 51-75, March.
    12. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Strom, Steinar, 1999. "Labour Supply in Italy: An Empirical Analysis of Joint Household Decisions, with Taxes and Quantity Constraints," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 403-422, July-Aug..
    13. Claudio De Vincenti & Ruggero Paladini, 2009. "Personal Income Tax Design for Italy: Lessons from the Theory," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 7-46.
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