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The Role of the Unit of Analysis in Tax Policy Reform Evaluations

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  • John Creedy

    () (The Treasury, Wellington, New Zealand)

  • Rosanna Scutella

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper examines the implications, for overall social welfare and inequality comparisons, of using different definitions of the unit of analysis - the income recipient - in computing summary measures. Comparisons are made using the Melbourne Institute Tax and Transfer Simulator (MITTS), a simulation model of the Australian direct tax and benefit system, of the effects of flattening the marginal tax rate structure. The reform was found to reduce inequality in all cases. However, it was not always judged to improve social welfare, depending on the degree of inequality aversion and the type of income unit chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "The Role of the Unit of Analysis in Tax Policy Reform Evaluations," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n28, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2003n28
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2003n28.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-890, July.
    2. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Estimation of Wage Equations in Australia: Allowing for Censored Observations of Labour Supply," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Laurens Cherchye, 1998. "The Measurement of Macroeconomic Performance: Comparison of DEA-Based Alternatives," Working Papers Department of Economics ces9829, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-244, May.
    5. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Household equivalence scales and the measurement of inequality : Transfers from the poor to the rich could decrease inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 211-216.
    6. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
    7. Amiel, Yoram & Creedy, John & Hurn, Stan, 1999. " Measuring Attitudes towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
    8. Cowell, Frank A, 1984. "The Structure of American Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 351-375, September.
    9. Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Estimation of Labour Supply Models for Four Separate Groups in the Australian Population," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-1082, September.
    11. Danziger, Sheldon & Taussig, Michael K, 1979. "The Income Unit and the Anatomy of Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 365-375, December.
    12. John Creedy & Alan S. Duncan & Mark Harris & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Microsimulation Modelling of Taxation and the Labour Market," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2796, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Creedy & Catherine Sleeman, 2004. "Adult Equivalence Scales, Inequality and Poverty in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/21, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. John Creedy & Cath Sleeman, 2005. "Adult equivalence scales, inequality and poverty," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 51-81.
    3. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Behavioural Microsimulation Modelling With the Melbourne Institute Tax and Transfer Simulator(MITTS) : Uses and Extensions," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 932, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Richard Fabling & Richard Kneller & Lynda Sanderson, 2015. "The impact of tax changes on the short-run investment behaviour of New Zealand firms," Working Papers 15-04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Behavioural Microsimulation Modelling for Tax Policy Analysis in Australia: Experience and Prospects," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 8(1), pages 73-110, March.
    6. Burlacu, Irina S. & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2012. "Differential Welfare State Impacts for Frontier Working Age Families," IZA Discussion Papers 6734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Christopher Ball & John Creedy, 2015. "Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14," Treasury Working Paper Series 15/06, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Denise Doiron & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Demands for Child Care and Household Labour Supply in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, pages 215-236.

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