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Comparing Welfare Change Measures with Income Change Measures in Behavioural Policy Simulations

Author

Listed:
  • John Creedy

    (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne)

  • Nicolas Hérault

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

  • Guyonne Kalb

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

Abstract

This paper presents a method of computing welfare changes (compensating and equivalent variations) arising from a tax or social security policy change, in the context of behavioural microsimulation modelling where individuals can choose between a limited number of discrete hours of work. The method allows fully for the nonlinearity of the budget constraint facing each individual, the probabilistic nature of the labour supply model and the presence of unobserved heterogeneity in the estimation of preference functions. An advantage of welfare measures, compared with changes in net incomes, is that they take into account the value of leisure and home production. The method is applied to hypothetical income tax policy changes in Australia and comparisons are made at the individual and the aggregate level. At the aggregate level a social welfare function is specified in terms of money metric utility. It is shown that policy evaluations based on welfare changes can be substantially different from those using only individuals' net income changes.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2007. "Comparing Welfare Change Measures with Income Change Measures in Behavioural Policy Simulations," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2007n21
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2007n21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Creedy, 2000. "Quadratic utility, labour supply and the welfare effects of tax changes," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 4(4), pages 270-278, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Creedy, John, 2000. "Measuring Welfare Changes and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-47, January.
    4. Ian Walker & Ian Preston, 1999. "Welfare measurement in labour supply models with nonlinear budget constraints," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(3), pages 343-361.
    5. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-589, August.
    6. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
    7. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
    8. 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.
    9. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 697-734, December.
    10. John K. Dagsvik & Anders Karlström, 2005. "Compensating Variation and Hicksian Choice Probabilities in Random Utility Models that are Nonlinear in Income," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 57-76.
    11. Duncan, Alan & Weeks, Melvyn, 1997. "Behavioural tax microsimulation with finite hours choices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 619-626, April.
    12. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Hsein Kew, 2001. "The Melbourne Institute Tax and Transfer Simulator (MITTS)," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2001n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 1999. "On the taxation of trade within and between households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 241-263, August.
    14. Binh, Tran Nam & Whiteford, Peter, 1990. "Household Equivalence Scales: New Australian Estimates from the 1984 Household Expenditure Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 66(194), pages 221-234, September.
    15. Hausman, Jerry A., 1985. "Taxes and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 213-263 Elsevier.
    16. Creedy, John & Duncan, Alan, 2002. " Behavioural Microsimulation with Labour Supply Responses," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 1-39, February.
    17. Latham, Roger W, 1980. "Quantity Constrained Demand Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 307-313, March.
    18. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
    19. 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.
    20. Johansson,Per-Olov, 1987. "The Economic Theory and Measurement of Environmental Benefits," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348102.
    21. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
    22. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Measuring Welfare Changes In Labour Supply Models," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(6), pages 664-685, December.
    23. John Creedy & Alan S. Duncan & Mark Harris & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Microsimulation Modelling of Taxation and the Labour Market," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2796.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iris Claus & John Creedy & Josh Teng, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income in New Zealand," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 287-303, September.
    2. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2009. "Abolishing the Tax-Free Threshold in Australia: Simulating Alternative Reforms," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 219-246, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • 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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