IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Efficiency and Equity of the Tax and Transfer System in France

  • Balazs Egert


Taxes and cash transfers reduce income inequality more in France than elsewhere in the OECD, because of the large size of the flows involved. But the system is complex overall. Its effectiveness could be enhanced in many ways, for example so as to achieve the same amount of redistribution at lower cost. The French tax code should be simplified and changed less frequently. High statutory rates are coupled with a wide range of effective tax rates resulting from a multitude of tax expenditures. There is a need for base broadening combined with lower rates throughout the system, including VAT. The tax wedge on labour is high, except at the bottom of the wage distribution, which can reduce worker participation and job offers. Greater neutrality both across different capital asset classes but also within specific taxes, and shifting taxes from labour and capital inputs to environmental and property taxes would improve economic outcomes. Likewise, the system of social and family benefits should be simplified to enhance transparency and consistency. Eliminating schemes that let people leave the labour market early, abolishing the pension privileges of specific occupational groups and internalising the costs of survivors’ pension benefits would increase fairness while at the same time generating savings. Better labour-market performance would result from increasing job-search incentives and shortening the parental leave allowance. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Review of France (

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [301 Moved Permanently]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Laurie Gendron)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp1047.

in new window

Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2013-1047
Contact details of provider: Postal: 724 E. University Ave, Wyly Hall 1st Flr, Ann Arbor MI 48109
Phone: 734 763-5020
Fax: 734 763-5850
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2011. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," NBER Working Papers 17616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brigitte Dormont & Denis Fougère & Ana Prieto, 2001. "L'effet de l'allocation unique dégressive sur la reprise d'emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 343(1), pages 3-28.
  3. Guillaume Allegre & Thomas Melonio & Xavier Timbeau, 2010. "Dépenses publiques d’éducation et inégalités Une perspective de cycle de vie," Sciences Po publications 2010-06, Sciences Po.
  4. Behaghel, Luc & Crépon, Bruno & Gurgand, Marc, 2012. "Private and Public Provision of Counseling to Job-Seekers: Evidence from a Large Controlled Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Monika Queisser & Edward R. Whitehouse, 2006. "Neutral or Fair?: Actuarial Concepts and Pension-System Design," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
  6. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  7. Nicolas Ruiz & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Le caractère régressif des taxes indirectes : les enseignements d'un modèle de microsimulation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 413(1), pages 21-46.
  8. Simula, Laurent & Trannoy, Alain, 2010. "Optimal income tax under the threat of migration by top-income earners," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 163-173, February.
  9. Oliver Denk, 2012. "Tax Reform in Norway: A Focus on Capital Taxation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 950, OECD Publishing.
  10. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg & Ferracci Marc, 2001. "La formation professionnelle des adultes : pour en finir avec les réformes inabouties," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00638151, HAL.
  11. Knut Røed & Lars Westlie, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance In Welfare States: The Impacts Of Soft Duration Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 518-554, 05.
  12. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  13. Angela Luci Greulich & Olivier Thévenon, 2013. "The impact of family policy packages on fertility trends in developed countries," Post-Print hal-00880679, HAL.
  14. Kleven, Henrik & Landais, Camille & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 8134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  16. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.
  17. Peter Hoeller & Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debra Bloch, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 1. Mapping Income Inequality Across the OECD," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 924, OECD Publishing.
  18. Pierre Cahuc & Cette Gilbert & André Zylberberg, 2008. "Salaire minimum et bas revenus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00638149, HAL.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2013-1047. 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: (Laurie Gendron)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.