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Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of Tax and Transfer System Reforms: A General Equilibrium Microsimulation Approach

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Abstract

We present a general-equilibrium behavioural microsimulation model designed to assess long-run macroeconomic, fiscal and social consequences of reforms to the tax and transfer system. The behaviour of labour supply is assessed along both the extensive and intensive margins, by merging the discrete choice and the elasticity of taxable income approaches. General-equilibrium feedback effects are simulated by embedding microsimulation in a parsimonious macro model of a small open economy. We estimate and calibrate the model to Hungary, and then perform three sets of simulations. The first one explores the impact of personal income tax reductions that are identical in cost but different in structure. The second one compares three different tax shift scenarios, while the third one evaluates actual policy measures between 2008 and 2013. The results suggest that while a cut in the marginal tax rate of high-income individuals may boost output, it does not have a significant employment effect. On the other hand, programs like the Employee Tax Credit do have a significant employment effect. We find that the policy measures introduced since 2008 substantially increase income inequality in the long run; the contribution of the changes after 2010 are about four times that of the changes before 2010. Our results highlight that taking account of household heterogeneity is crucial in the analysis of the macroeconomic effects of tax and transfer reforms.

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  • Benczur, Peter & Katay, Gabor & Kiss, Aron, 2017. "Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of Tax and Transfer System Reforms: A General Equilibrium Microsimulation Approach," Working Papers 2017-09, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Ispra site).
  • Handle: RePEc:jrs:wpaper:201709
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    Cited by:

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    2. Norbert Švarda & Jana Valachyová & Matúš Senaj & Michal Horváth & Zuzana Siebertová, 2018. "The end of the flat tax experiment in Slovakia: An evaluation using behavioural microsimulation linked with a dynamic macroeconomic framework," Discussion Papers 50, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    3. Horváth, Michal & Senaj, Matúš & Siebertová, Zuzana & Švarda, Norbert & Valachyová, Jana, 2019. "The end of the flat tax experiment in Slovakia: An evaluation using behavioural microsimulation in a dynamic macroeconomic framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 171-184.
    4. Yan, Eric & Feng, Qu & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 2021. "Do we need ramsey taxation? Our existing taxes are largely corrective," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 526-538.
    5. Gábor P. Kiss, 2020. "Aggregate Fiscal Stabilisation Policy: Panacea or Scapegoat?," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 19(2), pages 55-87.
    6. Júlia Király, 2020. "Hungary and Other Emerging EU Countries in the Financial Storm," Financial and Monetary Policy Studies, Springer, number 978-3-030-49544-2, June.
    7. Mario La Torre & Helen Chiappini (ed.), 2020. "Contemporary Issues in Sustainable Finance," Palgrave Studies in Impact Finance, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-3-030-40248-8, June.
    8. Diego d'Andria & Jason DeBacker & Richard Evans & Jonathan Pycroft & Magdalena Zachlod-Jelec, 2019. "Micro-founded tax policy effects in a heterogenenous-agent macro-model," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2019-01, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    9. Vanesa Jorda & Jose M. Alonso, 2020. "What works to mitigate and reduce relative (and absolute) inequality?: A systematic review," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-152, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Galuščák, Kamil & Kátay, Gábor, 2019. "Tax-benefit systems and differences in aggregate labour force participation: Comparative evidence from the Czech Republic and Hungary," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 43(3).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioural microsimulation; linked micro macro model; tax system; transfers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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