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Minimum wage and tax evasion: Theory and evidence

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  • Tonin, Mirco

Abstract

This paper examines the interaction between minimum wage legislation and tax evasion by employed labor. I develop a model in which firms and workers may agree to report less than the true amount of earnings to the fiscal authorities. I show that introducing a minimum wage creates a spike in the distribution of declared earnings and induces higher compliance by some agents, thus reducing their disposable income. The comparison of food consumption and of the consumption–income gap before and after the massive minimum wage hike that took place in Hungary in 2001 reveals that households who appeared to benefit from the hike actually experienced a drop compared to similar but unaffected households, thus supporting the prediction of the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1635-1651

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:11:p:1635-1651

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Tax evasion; Minimum wage; Spike;

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  1. Minimum wage and tax evasion
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-05-31 14:27:00
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Cited by:
  1. Simonovits, András, 2009. "Keresetbevallás és újraelosztás az együttélő nemzedékek modelljében
    [Underreported earnings and redistribution in the overlapping-generations model]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 101-118.
  2. Kamila Fialová & Martina Mysíková, 2009. "The Minimum Wage: Labor Market Consequences in the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(3), pages 255-274, August.
  3. Ogndal, Tone, 2012. "In the Shadow of the Labour Market," Memorandum 05/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kumler, Todd J. & Verhoogen, Eric & Frias, Judith A., 2013. "Enlisting Employees in Improving Payroll-Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 7591, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & John Hassler & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi & Xavier Vives, 2012. "Chapter 5: The Hungarian Crisis," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 115-130, 02.
  6. Peter Elek & Janos Kollo & Balazs Reizer & Peter A. Szabo, 2012. "Detecting Wage Under-Reporting Using a Double Hurdle Model," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1201, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  7. Marcelo Bergolo & Guillermo Cruces, 2014. "Work and tax evasion incentive effects of social insurance programs. Evidence from an employment-based benefit extension," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0161, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  8. Mirco Tonin, 2013. "Underreporting of earnings and the minimum wage spike," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, December.
  9. Kamila Fialová, 2010. "Labor Institutions and their Impact on Shadow Economies in Europe," Working Papers IES 2010/29, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Dec 2010.
  10. Leibfritz, Willi, 2011. "Undeclared economic activity in central and eastern Europe -- how taxes contribute and how countries respond to the problem," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5923, The World Bank.
  11. Lovász, Anna & Altwicker-Hámori, Szilvia, 2013. "A köz- és a magánszféra kereseti különbségei Magyarországon, 2002-2008. Javíthat-e hosszú távon a közalkalmazottak relatív helyzetén egy 50 százalékos béremelés?
    [An assessment of
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 500-522.
  12. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy & Siddique, Zahra, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Minimum Wage Non-Compliance and Informality," IZA Discussion Papers 6228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Andras Simonovits, 2009. "When and How to Subsidize Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0902, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  14. Szabó, Péter András, 2007. "A 2000-2001. évi minimálbér-emelés hatása
    [The effects of the 2000-20001 minimum-wage rise on income distribution]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 397-414.
  15. Mirco Tonin, 2014. "Reporting import tariffs (and other taxes)," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 153-173, February.
  16. Szilvia Hamori & Anna Lovasz, 2011. "Can a fifty percent increase in public sector wages improve the position of public sector employees in the long run? An assessment of the public-private income gap in Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1106, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  17. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
  18. Bernd Fitzenberger, 2008. "Anmerkungen zur Mindestlohndebatte: Elastizitäten, Strukturparameter und Topfschlagen," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(11), pages 21-27, 06.

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