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Semiparametric Base-Independent Equivalence Scales and the Cost of Children in Switzerland

Aline Bütikofer

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 2012, vol. 148, issue I, 1-35

Abstract: How much additional income does a couple with two children need to be equally well-off as a childless couple? This question is important for public policy decisions on social benefits or child allowances. Since equivalence scales express the change in the cost of attaining a certain welfare level when the household size and composition varies, they provide an answer. This paper provides semiparametric estimates of consumption-based equivalence scales by applying the extended partially linear model to the Swiss Household Budget Survey 2000-2005. The results permit welfare comparisons across households and provide an indirect measure of the cost of children.

Keywords: Semiparametric estimation; equivalence scales; Engel curves (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C14 D12 J12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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