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Identifying Tax Implicit Equivalence Scales

Listed author(s):
  • Justin van de Ven

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

  • Nicolas Herault

    ()

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

  • Francisco Azpitarte

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; Brotherhood of St Laurence)

This paper describes a simple and tractable method for identifying equivalence scales that reflect the value judgements implicit in a tax and benefits system. The approach depends upon two assumptions that are standard in the literature concerned with inequality and tax progressivity, in addition to a functional description for transfer payments that can be estimated using common micro-data sources. We use this approach to evaluate tax implicit equivalence scales for the UK transfer system that applied in April 2009. The tax implicit scales that we identify for the UK vary positively with tax unit size and are decreasing in gross earnings, reflecting recent econometric estimates based on consumption data. We conclude by discussing a range of potential applications for the proposed tax implicit scales.

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File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2014n03.pdf
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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2014n03.

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Length: 15pp
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2014n03
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Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia

Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/
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