Int. J. of Public Policy   »   2018 Vol.14, No.1/2



Title: European fiscal solidarity: an EU-wide optimal income tax approach


Authors: Laura Seelkopf; Hongyan Yang


European University Institute, Via dei Roccettini 9, I-50014 San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg, Germany


Abstract: The current financial crisis has brought Europe to a critical juncture. In this paper, we map fiscally the United States of Europe. We simulate an optimal EU-wide income tax and calculate the implied cross-country transfers. The comparison of the implied transfers with the real transfers shows how insufficient the actual transfers are in reducing income disparities across the EU. Moreover, to evaluate the chances for a stronger European fiscal integration within different (core-) groups of member states, we illustrate the winners and losers from optimal EU-wide income redistribution across the Union. While the need for centralised redistribution grows with the number of heterogeneous member states, the implementation of a European income tax becomes, at the same time, ever more unlikely.


Keywords: European Union; inequality; redistribution; solidarity; fiscal policy; optimal taxation.


DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2018.090752


Int. J. of Public Policy, 2018 Vol.14, No.1/2, pp.145 - 163


Date of acceptance: 08 Aug 2017
Available online: 21 Mar 2018



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