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Comparing Inequality Aversion across Countries when Labor Supply Responses Differ

Author

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  • Olivier Bargain

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Mathias Dolls

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Cologne)

  • Dirk Neumann

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Cologne)

  • Andreas Peichl

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Cologne, CESifo - CESifo, ISER - University of Essex)

  • Sebastian Siegloch

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Cologne)

Abstract

We analyze to which extent social inequality aversion differs across nations when controlling for actual country differences in labor supply responses. Towards this aim, we estimate labor supply elasticities at both extensive and intensive margins for 17 EU countries and the US. Using the same data, inequality aversion is measured as the degree of redistribution implicit in current tax-benefit systems, when these systems are deemed optimal. We find relatively small differences in labor supply elasticities across countries. However, this changes the cross-country ranking in inequality aversion compared to scenarios following the standard approach of using uniform elasticities. Differences in redistributive views are significant between three groups of nations. Labor supply responses are systematically larger at the extensive margin and often larger for the lowest earnings groups, exacerbating the implicit Rawlsian views for countries with traditional social assistance programs. Given the possibility that labor supply responsiveness was underestimated at the time these programs were implemented, we show that such wrong perceptions would lead to less pronounced and much more similar levels of inequality aversion. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2014. "Comparing Inequality Aversion across Countries when Labor Supply Responses Differ," Post-Print hal-01463099, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01463099
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-013-9277-9
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01463099
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    Cited by:

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    2. Johannes Hermle & Andreas Peichl, 2018. "Jointly Optimal Taxes for Different Types of Income," CESifo Working Paper Series 7248, CESifo.
    3. Spencer Bastani & Jacob Lundberg, 2017. "Political preferences for redistribution in Sweden," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(4), pages 345-367, December.
    4. Lockwood, Benjamin B. & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2016. "Positive and normative judgments implicit in U.S. tax policy, and the costs of unequal growth and recessions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 30-47.
    5. Jessen, Robin & Metzing, Maria & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "Optimal taxation under different concepts of justness," Discussion Papers 2017/26, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. Jacobs, Bas & Jongen, Egbert L.W. & Zoutman, Floris T., 2017. "Revealed social preferences of Dutch political parties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 81-100.
    7. Hansen, Emanuel, 2021. "Optimal income taxation with labor supply responses at two margins: When is an Earned Income Tax Credit optimal?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 195(C).
    8. Olli Kärkkäinen, 2013. "Revealed preferences for redistribution and government’s elasticity expectations," Working Papers 284, Työn ja talouden tutkimus LABORE, The Labour Institute for Economic Research LABORE.
    9. Eydam, Ulrich & Diluiso, Francesca, 2022. "How to Redistribute the Revenues from Climate Policy? A Dynamic Perspective with Heterogeneous Households," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264076, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Ulrich Eydam & Francesca Diluiso, 2022. "How to Redistribute the Revenues from Climate Policy? A Dynamic Perspective with Financially Constrained Households," CEPA Discussion Papers 45, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    11. Emanuel Hansen, 2020. "Optimal Income Taxation with Labor Supply Responses at Two Margins: When Is an Earned Income Tax Credit Optimal?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8630, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    C63; D63; H11; H21; Labor supply; Optimal income taxation; Redistribution; Social preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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