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Effects of Flat Tax Reforms in Western Europe on Income Distribution and Work Incentives

  • Paulus, Alari

    ()

    (ISER, University of Essex)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    ()

    (ZEW Mannheim)

The flat income tax has become increasingly popular recently, yet its implementation is limited to Eastern Europe. We analyse the distributional and efficiency effects of flat tax scenarios for Western European countries. Our simulations show that flat tax rates required to attain revenue neutrality with existing basic allowances improve labour supply incentives. However, they result in higher inequality and polarisation. Flat rates necessary to keep the inequality levels unchanged allow for some scope for flat taxes to increase both equity and efficiency. Our analysis suggests that Mediterranean countries are more likely to benefit from flat taxes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3721.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3721
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  1. Marta González-Torrabadella & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat tax reforms: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 30(2), pages 317-351, May.
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  3. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, 01.
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  5. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
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  7. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Klara Sabirianova Peter, 2007. "Myth and Reality of Flat Tax Reform: Micro Estimates of Tax Evasion Response and Welfare Effects in Russia," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0720, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Nancy L. Stokey & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," NBER Working Papers 4426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Davies, James B. & Hoy, Michael, 2002. "Flat rate taxes and inequality measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 33-46, April.
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  13. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2004. "Growth Effects of Shifting from a Graduated-rate Tax System to a Flat Tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 194-213, April.
  14. Sutherland, Holly, 2001. "EUROMOD: an integrated European benefit-tax model: final report," EUROMOD Working Papers EM9/01, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  15. Ricardo Varsano & Kevin Kim & Michael Keen, 2006. "The "Flat Tax(es)"; Principles and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 06/218, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Ugo Colombino & Steinar Strøm & Rolf Aaberge, 2000. "Labor supply responses and welfare effects from replacing current tax rules by a flat tax: Empirical evidence from Italy, Norway and Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 595-621.
  17. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
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