The marginal cost of public funds in the EU: the case of labour versus green taxes
One key objective of tax-based fiscal consolidations which is too often disregarded in public debate is to minimise economic distortions. This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model to gauge these potential distortions by calculating the marginal cost of public funds (MCF) for EU member states. We consider two specific tax categories which are often proposed as good candidates for efficiency-enhancing tax shifting policies: labour and green taxes. Our analysis suggests that the economic distortions provoked by labour taxes are significantly larger than for green taxes. This result suggests that a green-taxes oriented fiscal consolidation would be preferred to a labour-tax oriented one (assuming that both tax increases would yield the same tax revenues). This holds for all EU member states modelled and despite the fact that potential welfare enhancement through pollution abatement are cancelled-out. Nevertheless, this result is slightly less strong when one considers the spillover effects between countries, which are more pronounced (in relative terms) for green taxes. This suggests that the use of green taxes for fiscal consolidation would be more effective were there to be close coordination across EU countries. In addition the efficiency losses associated with labour taxes are also likely to be greater when labour markets are less flexible (from an efficiency-wage perspective), a result also found to a small extent for green taxes. This raises the possibility that undertaking structural reforms (especially in the labour market) would help to minimize the efficiency losses entailed by tax-driven fiscal consolidations.
|Date of creation:||May 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/index_en.htm|
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006.
"The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
- Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Hours of Work versus Labor Force Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stefan Boeters & Luc Savard, 2012.
"The Labour Market in CGE Models,"
CPB Discussion Paper
201, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
- Stefan Boeters & Luc Savard, 2011. "The Labour Market in CGE Models," Cahiers de recherche 11-20, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
- Boeters, Stefan & Savard, Luc, 2011. "The labour market in CGE models," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Bert Saveyn & Denise Van Regemorter & Juan-Carlos Ciscar, 2012.
"Economic analysis of the climate pledges of the Copenhagen Accord for the EU and other major countries,"
- Saveyn, Bert & Van Regemorter, Denise & Ciscar, Juan Carlos, 2011. "Economic analysis of the climate pledges of the Copenhagen Accord for the EU and other major countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages S34-S40.
- Speck, Stefan, 1999. "Energy and carbon taxes and their distributional implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 659-667, October.
- Auriol, Emmanuelle & Walters, Michael, 2009.
"The Marginal Cost of Public Funds and Tax Reform in Africa,"
TSE Working Papers
09-110, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
- Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2012. "The marginal cost of public funds and tax reform in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 58-72.
- Corsetti, Giancarlo & Kuester, Keith & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2010.
"Debt consolidation and fiscal stabilization of deep recessions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7649, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2010. "Debt Consolidation and Fiscal Stabilization of Deep Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 41-45, May.
- Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & Andre Meier & Gernot J. Mueller, 2010. "Debt Consolidation and Fiscal Stabilization of Deep Recessions," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/03, European University Institute.
- John Hutton & Anna Ruocco, 1999. "Tax Reform and Employment in Europe," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 263-287, August.
- Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2012.
"Globalization, Tax Distortions, and Public-Sector Retrenchment,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 409-439, 06.
- Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2010. "Globalization, tax distortions and public sector retrenchment," Economics Working Papers 2010-09, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998.
"Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches,"
IFS Working Papers
W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1985. "Tax revenue and the marginal cost of public funds in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 331-353, August.
- de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994.
"Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
- G�nter Coenen & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles Freedman & Davide Furceri & Michael Kumhof & Ren� Lalonde & Douglas Laxton & Jesper Lind� & Annabelle Mourougane & Dirk Muir & Susanna Mursula & Carlos d, 2012.
"Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 22-68, January.
- Michael Kumhof & Dirk Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in â€˜t Veld & RenÃ© Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & GÃ¼nter Coenen & Susanna, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
- Michael Smart, 2007.
"Raising taxes through equalization,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1188-1212, November.
- Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
- Bev Dahlby, 2008. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Theory and Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262042509, June.
- Feldstein, Martin, 1997. "How Big Should Government Be?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 197-213, June.
- Michiel Evers & Ruud Mooij & Daniel Vuuren, 2008. "The Wage Elasticity of Labour Supply: A Synthesis of Empirical Estimates," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
- Jens Matthias Arnold & Bert Brys & Christopher Heady & Åsa Johansson & Cyrille Schwellnus & Laura Vartia, 2011.
"Tax Policy for Economic Recovery and Growth,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages F59-F80, February.
- Feldstein, Martin, 1997. "How Big Should Government Be?," Scholarly Articles 3043427, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
- Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tax:taxpap:0035. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gaetan Nicodeme)or (Freddy De Buysscher) or (Thomas hemmelgarn)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.