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  • 1
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-27
    Description: The taxation of bequests can have a positive impact on the labor supply of heirs through wealth effects. This leads to an increase in future labor income tax revenue on top of direct bequest tax revenue. We first show in a theoretical model that a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation, based on existing estimates for the reduction in earnings after wealth transfers, fails: the marginal propensity to earn out of unearned income is not a sufficient statistic for the calculation of this effect because (i) heirs anticipate the reduction in net bequests and adjust their labor supply already prior to inheriting, and (ii) when bequest receipt is stochastic, even those who ex post end up not inheriting anything respond ex ante to the implied change in their distribution of net bequests. We quantitatively elaborate the size of the overall revenue effect due to labor supply changes of heirs by using a state of the art life-cycle model that we calibrate to the German economy. Besides the joint distribution of income and inheritances, quasi-experimental evidence regarding the size of wealth effects on labor supply is a key target for this calibration. We find that for each Euro of bequest tax revenue the government mechanically generates, it obtains an additional 9 Cents of labor income tax revenue (in net present value) through higher labor supply of (non-)heirs.
    Keywords: C68 ; D91 ; H22 ; H31 ; J22 ; ddc:330 ; bequest ; taxation ; life-cycle ; labor-supply ; dynamic scoring
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-19
    Description: Recent reforms that aim at reducing the upcoming burdens of population ageing might seriously harm low income individuals. An increase in old-age poverty and disability will be the result. Under this prospect, the present paper quantitatively characterizes the optimal progressivity of unfunded pension systems in an overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic income, disability and longevity risk as well as endogenous labor supply at the intensive and extensive margin. Focusing on the German pension system, our model features the most recent demographic projections and distinguishes three skill classes with skill-dependent risk profiles. Starting from a baseline path that reflects a purely earnings related pension system, we increase the degree of progressivity and compute the resulting macroeconomic, welfare and efficiency effects. For our most preferred parametrization we find an optimal flat-rate pension share of 40 percent. This indicates that in Germany recent reforms that aim at raising retirement age and cutting benefit levels should be complemented by increases in pension progressivity, since improved insurance provision dominates higher labor supply distortions. In addition, we also find that reductions in the benefit level (i.e. privatization) will only reduce economic efficiency.
    Keywords: C68 ; H55 ; J11 ; J26 ; ddc:330 ; stochastic OLG model ; tax-benefit linkage ; endogenous retirement ; population ageing
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 3
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2018-11-19
    Description: This note demonstrates that optimal tax calculations in overlapping generations models should not be based exclusively on long-run welfare changes. As the latter represent a mix of efficiency and intergenerational redistribution effects, they typically favor policies which redistribute towards future cohorts. Taking the recent study of Conesa et al. (2009) as an example, we explicitly consider short- and long-run welfare effects and isolate the aggregate efficiency consequences of a tax reform. Based on this aggregate efficiency measure, we find a much lower capital income tax rate and a significantly less progressive labor income tax schedule than Conesa et al. (2009) to be optimal. As we demonstrate, the optimality of capital income taxation is explained by the low interest elasticity of precautionary savings compared to that of life-cycle savings.
    Keywords: C68 ; H21 ; D91 ; ddc:330 ; stochastic OLG model ; precautionary savings ; intragenerational risk sharing and redistribution
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Berlin: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW)
    Publication Date: 2016-02-08
    Description: The present paper quantifies the economic consequences of eliminating the system of income splitting in Germany. We apply a dynamic simulation model with overlapping generations where single and married agents have to decide on labor supply and homework facing income and lifespan risk. The numerical exercise computes the resulting welfare changes across households and isolates aggregate efficiency effects of a move towards either individual taxation or family splitting. Our results indicate strongly that a switch towards individual taxation performs best in terms of economic efficiency due to reduced labor market distortions and improved insurance provision. In our benchmark calibration the efficiency gain amounts to roughly 0.4 percent of aggregate resources. Excluding home production significantly reduces aggregate efficiency gains while including marital risk slightly improves the efficiency of individual taxation.
    Keywords: H21 ; H24 ; J12 ; J22 ; ddc:330 ; stochastic general equilibrium ; home production ; female labor supply ; tax unit choice ; insurance provision
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2016-02-23
    Description: The present paper quantifies the importance of family insurance for the analysis of social security. We therefore augment the standard overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic labor productivity and longevity risk in that we account for gender and marital status. We simulate the abolition of pay-as-you-go pension payments, calculate the resulting intergenerational welfare changes and isolates aggregate efficiency effects for singles and families by means of compensating transfers. In accordance with previous studies that take into account transitional dynamics, we find that abolishing social security creates significant efficiency losses. Most importantly, however, we show that singles are substantially worse off from a shut-down of old-age payments compared to married couples. A decomposition of the efficiency loss reveals that this difference can be almost exclusively attributed to the insurance role of the family with respect to longevity risk. Since a married individual inherits her spouse’s wealth after his death and the likelihood that both partners reach a very old age is relatively small, marriage serves as an insurance device against longevity risk for the surviving partner.
    Keywords: J12 ; J22 ; ddc:330 ; stochastic general equilibrium ; home production ; family insurance
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-05-23
    Description: In this paper we conduct a quantitative analysis of a number of stylized educational loan systems. We develop a stochastic general equilibrium model of a closed economy with a competitive firm sector and a government that levies taxes and administers educational loans. Individuals are heterogeneous in their talent for education and ability to learn on the job and face uninsurable idiosyncratic labour productivity risk during their working career. We calibrate the model to the US mortgage loan system and subsequently consider two possible reforms. The first is a Graduate Labour Tax (GLT) system whereby grants to students are financed by means of a tax on the labour income of educated individuals. We find that in the long run the proportion of uneducated workers stays roughly constant but the average educational attainment of students increases. As there exists a considerable amount of transitional dynamics in the model the welfare effects of the reform differ by generation. Cohorts alive at the time of the shock are worse off while ex-ante welfare of future cohorts increases. The gains to the latter are large enough to - at least in principle - compensate the losers from the policy reform and generate an overall welfare gain. The second possible reform we study is a Comprehensive Labour Tax (CLT). It is very similar to the GLT except for the fact that the educational tax is levied on all workers, including those who are uneducated. In contrast to the GLT reform the proportion of uneducated workers drops substantially. Generations that become economically active soon after the policy reform are worse off and the aggregate ex-ante welfare effect is negative.
    Keywords: E10 ; E24 ; D91 ; I22 ; J24 ; ddc:330 ; human capital ; experience effects ; educational loans ; uninsured labour market risk ; incomplete markets ; overlapping generations
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
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    Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
    Publication Date: 2016-05-23
    Description: The present paper studies the growth and efficiency consequences of pension funding with individual retirement accounts in a general equilibrium overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic lifespan and labor income uncertainty. We distinguish between economies with rational and hyperbolic consumers and compare the consequences of voluntary and mandatory retirement plans. Three major findings are derived in our study: First, we quantify the commitment effect of social security for myopic individuals by roughly 1 percent of aggregate resources. It is possible to recapture this commitment technology in IRAs, if those are annuitized. Second, despite the fact that our consumers have an operative bequest motive, the welfare gain from the (implicit) longevity insurance of the pension system is significant and amounts to roughly 0.5 percent of aggregate resources. However, mandatory annuitization reduces unintended bequests so that future generations are significantly hurt. Finally, our results highlight the importance of liquidity effects for social security analysis. These efficiency gains are only attainable if accounts are voluntary and not mandatory.
    Keywords: H55 ; J26 ; ddc:330 ; individual retirement accounts ; annuities ; stochastic general equilibrium ; hyperbolic consumers ; Alterssicherung ; Rentenfinanzierung ; Private Rentenversicherung ; Konsumentenverhalten ; Zeitpräferenz ; Versicherungspflicht ; Wohlfahrtseffekt ; Allgemeines Gleichgewicht ; Overlapping Generations ; Theorie
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
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    Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Publication Date: 2016-06-03
    Description: It takes a woman and a man to make a baby. This fact suggests that for a birth to take place, the parents should first agree on wanting a child. Using newly available data on fertility preferences and outcomes, we show that indeed, babies are likely to arrive only if both parents desire one, and there are many couples who disagree on having babies. We then build a bargaining model of fertility choice and match the model to data from a set of European countries with very low fertility rates. The distribution of the burden of child care between mothers and fathers turns out to be a key determinant of fertility. A policy that lowers the child care burden specifically on mothers can be more than twice as effective at increasing the fertility rate compared to a general child subsidy.
    Keywords: J13 ; ddc:330 ; fertility ; bargaining ; child care
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
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    Berlin: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW)
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: This paper studies the long-run macroeconomic, distributional and welfare effects of tuition policy and student loans. We therefore form a rich model of risky human capital investment based on the seminal work of Heckman, Lochner and Taber (1998). We extend their original model by variable labor supply, borrowing constraints, idiosyncratic wage risk, uncertain life-span, and multiple schooling decisions. This allows us to build a direct link between students and their parents and make the initial distribution of people over different socio-economic backgrounds endogenous. Our simulation indicate that privatization of tertiary education comes with a vast reduction in the number of students, an increase in the college wage premium and longrun welfare losses of around 5 percent. Surprisingly, we find that from privatization of tertiary education, students are better off compared to workers from other educational classes, since the college wage premium nearly doubles. In addition, our model predicts that income contingent loans on which students don't have to pay interest, improve the college enrolment situation for agents from all kinds of backgrounds.
    Keywords: I22 ; J24 ; H52 ; ddc:330 ; public vs. private education ; schooling choice ; human capital investment ; idiosyncratic uncertainty
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
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    Berlin: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW)
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: The present paper aims to quantify the growth and welfare consequences of changing family structures in western societies. For this reason we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model with both genders which takes into account changes of the marital status as a stochastic process. Individuals respond to these shocks by adjusting savings and labor supply. Our quantitative results indicate that the declining number of marriages coupled with increasing divorce rates had a profound effect on macroeconomic variables and long-run welfare. We find a significant increase in aggregate capital accumulation and a rising labor market participation of women. In addition, our simulations indicate that the change in the marital structure had significant negative welfare consequences for women who lost between 0.4 and 2.2 percent of aggregate resources. The impact on men's welfare, however, could be positive or negative depending on the specific calibration.
    Keywords: J12 ; J22 ; ddc:330 ; family formation ; stochastic general equilibrium ; life cycle model
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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