Financing higher education: Should students have to pay?

By Guillaume Allègre and Xavier Timbeau

Is it necessary to ensure that a greater portion of the cost of higher education is borne by students in the form of higher tuition fees, which might or might not be coupled with loans? It is often argued that financing higher education through taxes is anti-redistributive. We show in a working document that from a life cycle perspective proportional taxation is not anti-redistributive. Continue reading “Financing higher education: Should students have to pay?”

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A boost for the minimum wage or for income support?

By Guillaume Allègre

The government has made a commitment to an exceptional, “reasonable” boost to the French minimum wage, the “SMIC”, and to indexation based on growth, and no longer just on workers’ purchasing power. In Les Echos, Martin Hirsch has argued for strengthening the RSA [the French income support scheme] rather than the SMIC. The point is not to oppose the working poor, the target of the RSA, and low wages: redistribution policies need to attack, not just poverty, but inequality throughout the income chain.

Continue reading “A boost for the minimum wage or for income support?”

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The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?

By Louis Chauvel

The term “middle class” is one of those social science concepts that provoke controversy due to its complex definition and dynamics and the political debate it generates. The fact that it is surrounded by sharp controversy should not therefore come as a big surprise. In a note by the OFCE – where a multifaceted definition of the middle class is proposed [1] – we review several dimensions of the social malaise afflicting this social group, which is often considered to be relatively privileged, in an effort to understand the actual situation. Continue reading “The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?”

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Towards a major tax reform?

By Guillaume Allègre and Mathieu Plane (eds.)

Taxation is more at the heart of the current election campaign and public debate than ever before. The economic and financial crisis, coupled with the goal of rapidly reducing the deficit, is inevitably shaking up the electoral discourse and forcing us to confront the complexity of our tax system. How do taxes interact with each other? What are the effects? How are they measured? What kind of consensual basis and constraints does taxation require? How should the tax burden be distributed among the economic actors? How should social welfare be financed? Should we advocate a “tax revolution” or incremental reform? The contributions to a special “Tax Reform” issue of the Revue de l’OFCE – Débats et Politiques aim to clarify and enrich this discussion. Continue reading “Towards a major tax reform?”

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On the taxation of household income and capital

By Henri Sterdyniak

The idea is very widespread that in France unearned income benefits from an especially low level of taxation and that the French system could be made fairer by simply raising this level. In an OFCE Note, we compare the taxation on capital income with that on labour income, and show that most of it is taxed just as highly.  Continue reading “On the taxation of household income and capital”

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Women’s Day

On the occasion of 8 March, we would like to remind our readers that, together with Sciences-Po, the OFCE has developed the specialist Research Programme for Teaching and Knowledge on Gender Issues (PRESAGE).

A number of posts on this blog have taken up the subject of occupational equality between men and women.


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Competitiveness at the expense of equality?

By Hélène Périvier

Working time has made its appearance in the presidential campaign, and the idea that people work less in France than elsewhere is gaining ground. This is the subject of a report by COE-Rexecode, which unfortunately does not take into account the sexual division of labour. Continue reading “Competitiveness at the expense of equality?”

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