This book analyses the impact of European tax and benefit systems on incentives to create and take up jobs. European policymakers face tough choices as reforms to these systems are costly and recognising and understanding the complex trade-offs involved - a pre-condition to pushing the reform process forward - is the aim of this volume.
The authors, experts in public and welfare economics, investigate the problems involved in re-designing tax and benefit systems in Europe, the cross-country spillovers of `bad' domestic policies and the peer pressure from closer policy co-operation in EMU. They examine reforms in tax and welfare systems and suggest ways in which to improve their efficiency without undermining the equitable foundations of the European social model. While aiming at a high degree of generality, the analyses are rooted firmly in the experience of European countries and the conclusions are therefore all the more relevant and of interest to policymakers in Europe, as well as the rest of the world.
The blend of theoretical and institutional analysis, policy suggestions and case studies of relevant European success stories will ensure this book appeals to policymakers and scholars of welfare, European and labour studies.
Edited by Marco Buti, Director of the Economies of the Member States, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, Paolo Sestito, Banca d'Italia - Research Department, Italy and Hans Wijkander, Professor of Economics, Stockholm University, Sweden
Contents: 1. Overview Part I: The Issues 2. Redistribution and Labour-supply Incentives Part II: The Facts 3. Effective Taxation, Spending and Employment Performance 4. Net Replacement Rates of the Unemployed: Comparisons of Various Approaches 5. The Retreat of the Welfare System: Myths and Reality - A Broad Comparison of Trends in Social Protection Expenditure across EU Countries Part III: Evaluation Methods 6. Evaluating the Labour Supply Responses to `in-work' Benefit Reforms for Low Income Workers 7. Tax Reform and Labour Supply in Sweden: Were Low and High Skill Individuals Affected Differently? Part IV: General Equilibrium Effects 8. The Dutch Employment Miracle and Fiscal Challenges of the Twenty-first Century 9. Skill-biased Technical Change, Sectoral Heterogeneity and Wage Setting: Unemployment or Wage Inequality Index