Comparing inequality aversion across countries when labor supply responses differ

Bargain, Olivier ; Dolls, Mathias ; Neumann, Dirk ; Peichl, Andreas ; Siegloch, Sebastian

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Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2013
The title of a journal, publication series: IZA Discussion Papers
Volume: 7215
Place of publication: Bonn
Publishing house: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > VWL, Soziale Sicherung (Siegloch 2018-)
School of Law and Economics > VWL, Quantitative Finanzwissenschaft (Peichl 2013-2017)
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H11 , H21 , D63 , C63,
Keywords (English): optimal income taxation , redistribution , labor supply , social preferences
Abstract: We analyze to which extent social inequality aversion differs across nations when control- ling for actual country differences in labor supply responses. Towards this aim, we estimate labor supply elasticities at both extensive and intensive margins for 17 EU countries and the US. Using the same data, inequality aversion is measured as the degree of redistribution implicit in current tax-benefit systems, when these systems are deemed optimal. We find relatively small differences in labor supply elasticities across countries. However, this changes the cross-country ranking in inequality aversion compared to scenarios following the standard approach of using uniform elasticities. Differences in redistributive views are significant between three groups of nations. Labor supply responses are systematically larger at the extensive margin and often larger for the lowest earnings groups, exacerbating the implicit Rawlsian views for countries with traditional social assistance programs. Given the possibility that labor supply responsiveness was underestimated at the time these programs were implemented, we show that such wrong perceptions would lead to less pronounced and much more similar levels of inequality aversion.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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