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Behavioural and welfare effects of basic income policies: a simulation for European countries

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  • Colombino, Ugo
  • Locatelli, Marilena
  • Narazani, Edlira
  • O'Donoghue, Cathal
  • Shima, Isilda

Abstract

We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net tax revenue, the effects of 10 hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include various alternative versions of a Basic Income policy. We produce various indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. As long as the ranking of reforms is done according to welfaristic criteria it turns out that the most successful policies are those involving non means-tested versions of basic income and adopting progressive tax-rules. When other criteria (such as the implied top marginal tax rate or the effect on female labour supply) are also taken into account, the picture changes: universalistic policies remain optimal and feasible in countries like Denmark where female participation rates are very high; instead, in countries with low female participation rates (like Italy) universalistic policies appear to be too costly in terms of implied top marginal tax rates and in terms of adverse effects on female participation, and meanstested policies such as Work-Fare or Negative Income Tax seem more desirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Colombino, Ugo & Locatelli, Marilena & Narazani, Edlira & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Shima, Isilda, 2008. "Behavioural and welfare effects of basic income policies: a simulation for European countries," EUROMOD Working Papers EM5/08, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em5-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. Aaberge & U. Colombino & T. Wennemo, 2009. "Evaluating Alternative Representations Of The Choice Sets In Models Of Labor Supply," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, pages 586-612.
    2. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Strøm, Steinar, 2003. "Do More Equal Slices Shrink the Cake? An Empirical Investigation of Tax-Transfer Reform Proposals in Italy," Memorandum 37/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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    6. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2013. "Using a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply to Design Optimal Income Taxes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 449-475, April.
    2. Isilda Mara & Edlira Narazani, 2011. "Labour-incentive reforms at preretirement age in Austria," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, pages 481-510.
    3. Herwig Immervoll & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2009. "Towards a multi-purpose framework for tax-benefit microsimulation: lessons from EUROMOD," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 2(2), pages 43-54.
    4. Ugo Colombino & Marilena Locatelli, 2008. "Parameters Heterogeneity in a Model of Labour Supply: Exploring the Performance of Mixed Logit," CHILD Working Papers wp21_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy

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