May 2005

IZA DP No. 1589: The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union

The objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of fiscal policy on the economic resources available to children, and on the child poverty rate. A static microsimulation model specifically designed for the purposes of comparative fiscal analysis in the European Union, EUROMOD, is used to study the age incidence of government taxes and transfers in 2001 in 15 EU countries. Three related questions are addressed. First, what priorities are currently embodied in government budgets across age groups, and in particular to what degree do cash transfer and tax systems benefit children relative to older groups? Second, what fractions of the needs of children are supported by elements of the tax and transfer systems directed explicitly to them? And third, what impact do measures of public resources for children have on child poverty rates?