Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries
AbstractTo the layperson, the upward trend in European unemployment is related to the slowdown in economic growth. We argue that the laypersonâs view is correct. The increase in European unemployment and the slowdown in economic growth are related because they stem from a common cause: an excessively high cost of labour. In Europe, labour costs have gone up for many reasons, but one is particularly easy to identify: higher taxes on labour. If wages are set by strong and centralized trade unions, an increase in labour taxes is shifted onto higher real wages. This has two effects. First, it reduces labour demand, and thus creates unemployment. Second, as firms substitute capital for labour, the marginal product of capital falls; over long periods of time, this in turn diminishes the incentive to accumulate and thus to grow. Thus high unemployment is associated with low growth rates. The model also predicts that the effect of labour taxation differs sharply in countries with different labour market institutions. We test these predictions on data for 14 industrial countries between 1965 and 1991, and find striking support for them. In particular, labour taxes have a strong positive effect on unemployment only in Europe and not in other industrial countries. The observed rise of about 9 percentage points in labour tax rates can account for a reduction of the EU growth rate of about 0.4 percentage points a year, about one-third of the observed reduction in growth between 1965â75 and 1976â91, and a rise in unemployment of about 4 percentage points.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.
Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
Issue (Month): 30 (04)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2nd Floor, 53-56 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DG
Phone: +44 (0)20 7183 8801
Fax: +44 (0)20 7183 8820
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0266-4658
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Schackstr. 4, 80539 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 2180-2748
Fax: +49 (89) 39 73 03
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/ifoHome/f-about/f2aboutces
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.