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Income Taxation and Household Size: Would French Family Splitting Make German Families Better Off?

Author

Listed:
  • Baclet, Alexandre

    () (INSEE)

  • Dell, Fabien

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Wrohlich, Katharina

    () (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

In this paper, we address the question whether family support via the income tax system is more generous in France than in Germany, as it is often claimed in the public debate. We use two micro-data sets and a micro-simulation model to compare effective average tax rates for different household types in France and Germany. Our analysis shows that the popular belief that French high income families with children face lower average tax rates than their German counterparts is true, however not due to the French Family splitting but rather to the different definitions of taxable incomes in both countries. Actually, low income families with less than three children even fare better in terms of tax relief in Germany than in France. The French system leads to lower average tax rates than the German one (over a large range of the income distribution) only for families with three children.

Suggested Citation

  • Baclet, Alexandre & Dell, Fabien & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "Income Taxation and Household Size: Would French Family Splitting Make German Families Better Off?," IZA Discussion Papers 1894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1894
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Herwig Immervoll, 2004. "Average and Marginal Effective Tax Rates Facing Workers in the EU: A Micro-Level Analysis of Levels, Distributions and Driving Factors," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 19, OECD Publishing.
    2. O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly, 1999. "Accounting for the Family in European Income Tax Systems," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 565-598, September.
    3. Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & Holly Sutherland, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Papers inwopa05/30, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Letablier, Marie-Thérèse, 2003. "Fertility and Family Policies in France," Discussion Paper 160, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Top Incomes and Top Taxes in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 532, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2002. "Maintenance of and Innovation in Long-Term Panel Studies: The Case of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 276, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Laisney, François & Beninger, Denis & Beblo, Miriam, 2003. "Family Tax Splitting: A Microsimulation of its Potential Labour Supply and Intra-household Welfare Effects in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives – A Microsimulation Study for Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 541-568.
    9. Rüdiger Parsche & Rigmar Osterkamp, 2004. "Child Support and Children's Tax Allowances in Selected European Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(3), pages 50-54, October.
    10. Christian Schmitt & Ulrike Winkelmann, 2005. "Wer bleibt kinderlos?: Sozialstrukturelle Daten zur Kinderlosigkeit von Frauen und Männern," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 473, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Jörg Althammer, 2002. "Familienbesteuerung - Reformen ohne Ende?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(1), pages 67-82.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gruber, Magdalena & Höhenberger, Nicole & Höserle, Silke & Niemann, Rainer, 2009. "Familienbesteuerung in Österreich und Deutschland: Eine vergleichende Analyse unter Berücksichtigung aktueller Steuerreformen," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 82, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    2. Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers' Employment and Working Hours across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Steiner, Viktor & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2006. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution and Work Incentives?," IZA Discussion Papers 2245, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Richard Ochmann & Katharina Wrohlich, 2013. "Familiensplitting der CDU/CSU: Hohe Kosten bei geringer Entlastung für einkommensschwache Familien," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(36), pages 3-11.
    5. Fabien Dell & Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "Income Taxation and its Family Components in France," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(4), pages 50-54, 02.
    6. repec:spr:epolit:v:34:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40888-016-0039-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives, and Household Welfare?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 115-142, March.
    8. repec:ces:ifodic:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:14567444 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income distribution; family; income taxation; France; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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