More on income distribution
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 55

More on income distribution PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 112 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

More on income distribution. Today: Family income distribution Should we redistribute income? Why? Some government programs. Reminder on Test 2. Test 2 Wednesday 65 minutes Restrictions on calculators are the same as for Test 1. Income distribution. How is income distributed?

Download Presentation

More on income distribution

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


More on income distribution

More on income distribution

Today: Family income distribution

Should we redistribute income? Why?

Some government programs


Reminder on test 2

Reminder on Test 2

  • Test 2 Wednesday

  • 65 minutes

  • Restrictions on calculators are the same as for Test 1


Income distribution

Income distribution

  • How is income distributed?

    • Is there such a thing as “too much” income inequality?

    • Why should there be redistribution?

    • In-kind versus cash transfers

      • When income is redistributed, should recipients be forced to consume a minimum amount of certain goods?

    • What are the problems of redistribution?


Mean income table families

Mean income table (families)

  • Real income growth, 1980-2000

    • Bottom 20% has been flat

    • Top 20% has seen huge growth (59%)

Source: “Principles of Microeconomics” 3rd edition, by Frank and Bernanke

Note: More recent figures show that family incomes in the bottom 60% have stayed about the same since 2000 (source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/h01AR.html)


The gap between rich and poor widens

The gap between rich and poor widens

  • The rich are getting richer, but the poor are not getting poorer

  • The middle class has seen moderate real growth in income

    • 16-29% growth for the categories in the middle 60%

  • Some of this is due to more middle-class families having two incomes


Problems with annual income figures

Problems with annual income figures

  • Ignores number of workers in a household

    • General trend from one earner to two

    • Expenses, such as child care, could be higher within two-worker households

  • In-kind transfers ignored

  • Taxes change over time

    • Disposable income changes over time (given the same income)

  • Income changes over time

    • If a rich person earns no income in a calendar year, should she be considered “poor?”


Is there too much income inequality

Is there “too much” income inequality

  • Some people would argue no

    • “When economic incentives to make a good living go away, the economic pie becomes smaller”

      • Think about communist systems

    • “People that have a good work ethic and work hard should make more money”

    • “There are plenty of opportunities for anybody born today in the US to become successful”

      • Free K-12 education; subsidized colleges and universities


Arguments for less income inequality

Arguments for less income inequality

  • “Marginal utility of income is lower for somebody with high incomes”

  • “Each person has a right to a minimum standard of living”

  • “Social unrest may occur unless each person is above the poverty line”


Other problems with income inequality

Other problems with income inequality

  • Those that are relatively poor may feel inferior

    • This problem may perpetuate to their children

  • Jealousy towards other people

  • Envy towards other people’s accomplishments


More on fairness

More on fairness

  • There are different views of fairness

    • Additive social welfare function

    • “Veil of ignorance”

      • Social welfare function should be minimum utility of all people in a society

    • Commodity egalitarianism


Different views of fairness

Different views of fairness

  • Some people believe that utility, not income, should be maximized within a population

    • Additive social welfare functionW = U1 + U2 + … + Un


Implications for additive utilities

0

Implications for additive utilities

This is the net gain to society

Paul gains this much utility

Paul’s marginal utility

Peter’s marginal utility

e

f

Peter loses this much utility

d

c

Take ab from Peter and give to Paul

Social welfare maximized

MUPeter

MUPaul

Paul’s income

Peter’s income

0

0’

b

a

I*

Paul’s income

Peter’s income


Different views of fairness1

Different views of fairness

  • Others believe that social welfare should be the minimum of the utilities of each person in society

    • “Veil of ignorance” argument developed by John Rawls

      • Conceals knowledge and talents from people

      • Risk averse people will want to have income equality under these conditions

      • No inferiority, jealousy or envy based on income


Problem

Problem

  • The “economic pie” will shrink with Rawls’ ideas

  • If income was guaranteed to be equal to everyone, nobody will have an economic incentive to gain human capital

    • Smaller “economic pie”

      • Less human capital

      • People work less


Optimal amount of income inequality

Optimal amount of income inequality?

  • Impossible to answer

  • Different people have different opinions about effectiveness of realistic ways to redistribute income


Different views of fairness2

Different views of fairness

  • Commodity egalitarianism

    • Some things should be made available to everyone without restrictions

      • Right to vote (if 18 or older)

      • Basic education

      • “Needed” items such as food, shelter, and clothing

      • Basic medical care

        • Recall issues presented in Chapters 9 and 10


Some other factors

Some other factors

  • Income redistribution does not directly take into account other factors

    • Number of hours worked

      • If our goal is to maximize utility from income, why not reduce leisure?

        • Not necessarily, since additional leisure likely increases utility

      • Income depends on number of hours worked

    • Does relative income matter?

      • Does someone get a decrease in utility when his income remains the same and someone else’s increase?


In kind versus money transfers

In-kind versus money transfers

  • With some views, such as commodity egalitarianism, in-kind transfers have more appeal than monetary ones

  • How does this affect individual utility?


In kind transfers

In-kind Transfers

H

420

Other goods per month

E3

340

A

F

U

300

E1

260

B

D

20

60

150

210

Pounds of cheese per month


In kind transfers1

In-kind Transfers

H

420

Other goods per month

A

F

300

E5

168

E4

136

B

D

82

126

150

210

Pounds of cheese per month


If income redistribution is good

If income redistribution is good…

  • …then how do we move money from one person to another?

    • Welfare payments

      • We will spend most of our time on this

    • The earned-income tax credit

    • Negative income tax

    • Minimum wage

    • Public employment of the unemployed


Some methods of income redistribution

Some methods of income redistribution

  • Welfare payments

    • Little economic incentive to get off of welfare without time limits

  • Many types of programs

    • TANF

    • Supplemental Security Income

    • Medicaid

    • Unemployment insurance


More on income distribution

TANF

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

    • Federal government provides block grants to states for welfare spending

    • Over 80% of recipients in every state must be on TANF for five years or less

    • States face penalties if a substantial percentage of recipients are not working or in work preparation programs


More on income distribution

TANF

  • TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

    • Under AFDC, some argued that many women on AFDC had children out of wedlock to continue get benefits and not have to work

      • If the mother had to work once the child reached kindergarten, then there would be an economic incentive to have another child


Tanf and benefit reduction rates

TANF and benefit reduction rates

  • TANF benefits are reduced when income reaches a certain level

    • Example: In California, recipients can earn up to $225 per month before benefits are reduced at a rate of 50% of money earned

  • How do people respond to these incentives in the short run?


Work incentives

0

Work incentives

B = G – tE

B = 0 if E = G/t

The Basic Trade-offs

G – basic grant if not working

t – rate at which grant reduced when recipient earns money

B – benefit received


Analysis of work incentives

Analysis of work incentives

D

|Slope| = w

Income per month

c

Time Endowment

b

2w

w*

a

0

T

Hours of leisure per month


Analysis of work incentives1

Analysis of work incentives

D

|Slope| = w

Income per month

E1

G

iii

ii

Income

Leisure

Work

i

0

T

F

Hours of leisure per month


Analysis of work incentives2

Analysis of work incentives

In this example, someone can get $100 in TANF benefits if not working

Between point Q and point S, an implicit tax rate of 25% is imposed

Note that there are some incentives to work while still receiving benefits

D

|Slope| = w

Income per month (= earnings + transfers)

|Slope| = 3/4w

S

G

Hours after TANF

Hours before TANF

Q

$100

0

T

V

F

K

Hours of leisure per month


Analysis of work incentives3

Analysis of work incentives

In this case, a 100% implicit tax rate is imposed after a benefit of $338 is received

D

Budget constraint with t = 100%

0 hours of work selected

P1

P

Income per month (= earnings + transfers)

S

R

G

$338

0

T

F

Hours of leisure per month


Analysis of work incentives4

Analysis of work incentives

This person is indifferent between working and receiving benefits

D

E2

Income per month (= earnings + transfers)

R

P

G

Hours worked (if working)

0

T

M

Hours of leisure per month


Analysis of work incentives5

Analysis of work incentives

This person prefers working to receiving benefits

D

E2

Income per month (= earnings + transfers)

R

P

G

Hours worked

0

T

M

Hours of leisure per month


Supplemental security income ssi

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Federal program that provides benefits for the aged, blind, and disabled with little or no assets

  • In 2003, average benefit was $342

  • SSI recipients can earn up to $65 per month without loss in benefits

    • After $65 is earned, additional earnings have a 50% implicit tax rate


Medicaid

Medicaid affects incentives to work

Under old incentive structures, people often lost eligibility once they earned enough money to get off of welfare

This created a “Medicaid notch”

For main details about Medicaid, see Chapter 10

Medicaid


The medicaid notch

The Medicaid notch

M

Income per year

D

R

S

Z

N

$1,000

0

T

X

Hours of leisure per year


Solving the medicaid notch problem

Solving the Medicaid notch problem

  • In recent years, families that earn enough to leave welfare can often stay on Medicaid

    • 12 month coverage after leaving TANF

    • Low-income children and pregnant women


Unemployment insurance ui

Unemployment insurance (UI)

  • States provides insurance for unemployment due to adverse selection and moral hazard reasons

  • Benefits

    • Average weekly benefit in 2005: $266

    • Maximum length of benefits in most states: 26 weeks

  • Typically financed by a payroll tax on employers

  • Empirical studies find that increasing benefits increases the duration of unemployment


More on income distribution

EITC

  • The earned income tax credit

    • A success story for the working poor

    • Provides credits to workers within low incomes

      • Essentially a negative income tax for some levels of income


More on income distribution

EITC

  • How it worked in 2006 for a family with 2 or more kids

    • 40% credit for first $11,340 earned

    • No additional credit for next $5,470 earned

    • Phased out at a 21.06% rate after $16,810 is earned, until the credit is gone at $38,348 earned


The earned income tax credit

The earned income tax credit


What has the eitc done

What has the EITC done?

  • Households with nobody working

    • Encourages one person to work

  • Households with one person working

    • Additional work not encouraged once a family with 2+ kids earns $11,340

      • Does not encourage additional hours of work of the person already working

      • Does not encourage a second worker in the household to work


Other ideas

Other ideas

  • Negative income tax

    • Supply a lump sum to everyone, then tax income more heavily

    • Problem: Incentive to work for pay diminishes

      • Some people will stop working and will pay no taxes

  • Minimum wage

    • Unemployment


What about public employment

What about public employment?

  • Public employment of the unemployed

  • To be successful…

    • Needs to have enough incentives for unemployed people to want to work

    • Needs to have incentives low enough for employed people to stay in their old job


Future of social insurance

Future of social insurance?

  • Academics are starting to study alternate ideas to help the poor

    • Providing benefits to those most in need, rather than those that are already “in the system”

    • “One-stop shopping” for help

    • Faith-based support

      • Government provides cash to the faith-based organization, and the organization provides the service


Overview

Overview


Summary welfare programs for the poor

Summary: Welfare programs for the poor

  • Many programs exist to support poor people

  • Some programs give little economic incentive to work

    • Exception: Earned income tax credit


Recall timothy

Recall Timothy

  • Timothy is currently working 1,500 hours per year

    • Hourly wage is $10

    • He also receives government health care, valued at $3,000 per year

  • Timothy could work a second job for 700 hours per year

    • Hourly wage is $8

    • With the second job, Timothy would make too much money for government health care


Now we add value to leisure

Now we add value to leisure

  • New problem

    • Tabitha has 24 hours per day

      • Each hour can be used only for labor (L) or leisure (l)

      • Tabitha’s wage is $10 per hour worked

      • She receives $5 in Medicaid benefits per day if she earns no more than $60

      • M denotes the daily earnings plus Medicaid benefits, if any

    • Tabitha has the following utility function

      • U(M, l) = 2(M½) + l


Tabitha s problem

Tabitha’s problem

  • Two cases

    • No Medicaid benefits

    • Work 6 hours or less and receive Medicaid benefits


No medicaid benefits

No Medicaid benefits

  • Maximize 2(M½) + l

    subject to (M/10) + l = 24

  • Same as Maximize 2(M½) + l

    subject to l = 24 – (M/10)

  • Same as Maximize 2(M½) + 24 – (M/10)

  • FOC set equal to 0: 1/M½ – 1/10 = 0

  • M = 100

    • 10 hours worked, 14 hours of leisure


What is tabitha s utility w o medicaid

What is Tabitha’s utility w/o Medicaid?

  • 10 hours worked, 14 hours of leisure

  • U(100, 14) = 2(100½) + 14 = 34


What about if she works less

What about if she works less?

  • Notice that this problem is almost the same

  • Maximize 2(M½) + l

    subject to (M/10) + l = 24.5

    • The Medicaid benefit acts like 0.5 hour of work benefits

  • Using the same steps as previously, M = 100

    • We can’t work that much to get the benefit, so the closest we can get is by working 6 hours

      • Total M is 65 ($60 in wages, $5 in Medicaid benefits)


What is tabitha s utility with medicaid

What is Tabitha’s utility with Medicaid?

  • 6 hours worked, 18 hours of leisure

  • U(65, 18) = 2(65½) + 18 = 34.12


What should tabitha do

What should Tabitha do?

  • If she works 10 hours (no Medicaid benefit)…

    • U(100, 14) = 2(100½) + 14 = 34

  • If she works 6 hours (with a Medicaid benefit)…

    • U(65, 18) = 2(65½) + 18 = 34.12

  • Tabitha should work 6 hours and accept the Medicaid benefit

$5


How do we solve poverty

How do we solve poverty?


  • Login