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

Welfare Benefits and Work Incentives. An Analysis of the Distribution of Net Replacement Rates in Europe using EUROMOD, a Multi- Country Microsimulation Model

  • Herwig Immervoll

    (University of Cambridge and European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research - Vienna)

  • Cathal O'Donoghue

    (University of Cambridge and National University of Ireland - Galway)

This paper considers the methodology of measuring replacement rates, comparing simulation based approaches, which simulate replacement rates for a representative sample of the population, with other approaches that simulate replacement rates for "typical" families or are entirely based on recorded household data. We emphasise the advantages of the first method. Utilising a cross-country microsimulation model for Europe, EUROMOD, we generate the distribution of replacement rates for four European countries, Denmark, France, Spain and the UK. In particular we show the important role of household composition and the presence of other household members' incomes in preserving the standard of living while out of work. We argue that, given this strong influence of primary incomes, replacement rates are not necessarily the best indicator of the impact of the taxbenefit system in this respect. To isolate the effects of the tax-benefit system on both work incentives and the degree of social protection for the out-of-work population, we therefore introduce a new measure, the “tax-benefit-to-earnings ratio”.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0302001.

in new window

Date of creation: 07 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0302001
Note: Type of Document - ; figures: included. EUROMOD web-site:
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, July.
  2. 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.
  3. David Carey & Harry Tchilinguirian, 2000. "Average Effective Tax Rates on Capital, Labour and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 258, OECD Publishing.
  4. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  5. Berger, Frederic & Borsenberger, Monique & Immervoll, Herwig & Lumen, Julie & Scholtus, Bertrand & de Vos, Klaas, 2001. "The Impact of Tax-Benefit Systems on Low-Income Households in the Benelux Countries. A Simulation Approach Using Synthetic Datasets," EUROMOD Working Papers EM3/01, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Riphahn, Regina T., 2000. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Immervoll, H., 2000. "Fiscal Drag - An Automatic Stabiliser?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0025, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Sutherland, Holly & Immervoll, Herwig & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 1999. "An introduction to EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM0/99, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  10. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Cathal O'Donoghue, 1996. "What Has Happened to Replacement Rates?," Papers WP076, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  12. Dennis J. Snower, 1995. "Evaluating Unemployment Policies: What Do the Underlying Theories Tell Us?," IMF Working Papers 95/7, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  14. Aino Salom�ki & Teresa Munzi, 1999. "Net Replacement Rates of the Unemployed. Comparison of various approaches," European Economy - Economic Papers 133, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  15. FitzRoy, Felix R & Hart, Robert A, 1985. "Hours, Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance Funding: Theory and Practice in an International Perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 700-713, September.
  16. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
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:wpa:wuwpla:0302001. 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: (EconWPA)

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.