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Simulation of reforms of direct and indirect taxation for France


  • Laisney, François
  • Mühleisen, Martin
  • Staat, Matthias
  • Vögele, Stefan


We study the welfare effects of combining the European Commission's proposal for VAT harmonization with different degrees of weakening of the 'quotient familial' , a feature of the French system of direct taxation which can be interpreted as aiming at taxing 'equivalised' household income. We compare two approaches to the calibration of the baseline situation and to the simulation of reactions to changes in the tax system. One of these takes fixed costs of work into account. For both we find that a tentative implementation of the Commission's proposal, keeping the low rate unchanged, is favourable to a narrow majority (the status quo is preferred on a number of criteria), but that it results in a high VAT rate in excess of the proposal. While a weakening of the quotient familial brings this rate within the desired bracket, the combined reform appears much less desirable than the pure VAT reform. This goes some way against the notion that the quotient familial constitutes a tax relief which is only significant for richer households.

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  • Laisney, François & Mühleisen, Martin & Staat, Matthias & Vögele, Stefan, 1992. "Simulation of reforms of direct and indirect taxation for France," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9207

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    1. Blackorby, Charles & Laisney, Francois & Schmachtenberg, Rolf, 1993. "Reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-76, January.
    2. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1980. "On the switch from direct to indirect taxation," NBER Chapters,in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 195-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Symons, Elizabeth & Walker, Ian, 1989. "The Revenue and Welfare Effects of Fiscal Harmonization for the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 61-75, Summer.
    4. Stephen Smith, 1988. "Excise Duties and the Internal Market," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 147-160, December.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Laisney, Francois & Lechner, Michael, 1993. "Alternative Interpretations of Hours Information in an Econometric Model of Labour Supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 393-415.
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