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Fiscal Union in Europe? Efficiency, Equity and Stabilizing Effects of an EU-Wide Income Tax

  • Neumann, Dirk
  • Bargain, Olivier
  • Dolls, Mathias
  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Peichl, Andreas

One central lesson of the sovereign debt crisis is that the Eurozone (and the EU) needs institutional reform. Many observers argue that the monetary union should be complemented by a fiscal union . In this paper we provide the first quantitative analysis of important economic effects of an EU income tax. Using the European tax-benefit calculator EUROMOD, we simulate detailed individual budget curves in order to estimate an average EU tax system . Three key issues are analyzed: firstly, we assess the direct distributional implications of an EU tax (partly) replacing national tax systems. Applying different voting schemes, we especially investigate whether such a step could find political support in each country and the EU as a whole. Secondly, by using behavioral simulation techniques we analyze the impact of introducing a common tax on economic efficiency and adjust the distributional effects accordingly. Thirdly, we investigate the potential of an EU income tax to act as an automatic fiscal stabilizer in the event of an asymmetric shock. We derive crucial policy implications from our simulation exercise for the reform of the Eurozone and shed some light on a very important set of questions: How would further fiscal integration economically affect different households in the different member states? How would it affect automatic stabilizers in the EU?

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 66063.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:66063
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  3. Beetsma Roel M.W.J. & Bovenberg A. Lans, 1995. "Monetary union without fiscal coordination may discipline policymakers," Research Memorandum 024, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
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  7. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and Economic Crisis: US vs. Europe," NBER Working Papers 16275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joseph A. Pechman, 1973. "Responsiveness of the Federal Individual Income Tax to Changes in Income," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(2), pages 385-428.
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  11. Andr� Sapir, 2011. "European Integration at the Crossroads: A Review Essay on the 50th Anniversary of Bela Balassa's Theory of Economic Integration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1200-1229, December.
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  15. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2003. "Symbiosis of monetary and fiscal policies in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-247, August.
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  17. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
  18. Hilary Hoynes, 1993. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation Under AFDC-UP," NBER Working Papers 4407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  20. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  21. Michael D. Bordo & Agnieszka Markiewicz & Lars Jonung, 2011. "A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History," NBER Working Papers 17380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
  23. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995. "Monetary union without fiscal coordination may discipline policymakers," Discussion Paper 1995-59, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  24. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  25. Hammond, George & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1995. "Regional Insurance Against Asymmetric Shocks. An Empirical Study for the European Community," CEPR Discussion Papers 1170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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