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Five Crossroads on the Way to Basic Income: An Italian Tour

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  • Colombino, Ugo

    (University of Turin)

Abstract

The current Italian income support policies are defective with respect to both efficiency and equity. A more effective design must face five crucial choices: universal vs. categorical policies; transfers vs. subsidies; unconditional vs. means-tested policies; coverage; flat vs. progressive tax rules. Using a microeconometric model and a social welfare methodology, we simulate the effects of 30 versions of three basic types: guaranteed minimum income, unconditional basic income and wage. The simulation preserves fiscal neutrality and adopts a methodology that allows for market equilibrium and ensures a consistent comparative statics interpretation of the results. The social welfare optimal policy is an unconditional transfer coupled with a wage subsidy, with a total benefit amounting to about 70% of the poverty level, or – depending on the social welfare criterion – a pure unconditional transfer amounting to 100% of the poverty level.

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  • Colombino, Ugo, 2014. "Five Crossroads on the Way to Basic Income: An Italian Tour," IZA Discussion Papers 8087, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8087
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    Cited by:

    1. Ugo Colombino, 2019. "Is unconditional basic income a viable alternative to other social welfare measures?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 128-128, March.
    2. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2014. "Labour Supply Models," Contributions to Economic Analysis, in: Cathal O’Donoghue (ed.), Handbook of Microsimulation Modelling, volume 127, pages 167-221, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    3. James Browne & Herwig Immervoll, 2017. "Mechanics of replacing benefit systems with a basic income: comparative results from a microsimulation approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(4), pages 325-344, December.
    4. Colombino, Ugo & Islam, Nizamul, 2020. "Combining microsimulation and optimization to identify optimal flexible tax-transfer rules," EUROMOD Working Papers EM13/20, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Islam, Nizamul & Colombino, Ugo, 2018. "The case for NIT+FT in Europe. An empirical optimal taxation exercise," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 38-69.
    6. Ugo Colombino & Nizamul Islam, 2018. "Basic Income and Flat Tax: The Italian Scenario," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 19(03), pages 20-29, October.
    7. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2018. "Structural Labour Supply Models and Microsimulation," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 11(1), pages 162-197.
    8. repec:ces:ifofor:v:19:y:2018:i:3:p:20-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Magnani, Riccardo & Piccoli, Luca, 2020. "Universal basic income with flat tax reform in France," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 235-249.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    guaranteed minimum income; basic income; income support mechanisms; wage subsidies; tax reform simulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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