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Discreteness and the Welfare Cost of Labor Supply Tax Distortions

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  • Keshab Bhattarai
  • John Whalley

Abstract

We compare the welfare costs of tax distortions of labor supply in one- and two-member household discrete and continuous choice labor supply (leisure consumption) models calibrated to the same aggregate uncompensated labor supply elasticities. In the discrete models, taxes induce a large response from a subset of the population, whereas the majority of the population exhibits unchanged behavior. In contrast, the majority of the population reacts to tax changes in continuous models. Discrete choice matters as the welfare costs of similar taxes vary significantly when individuals face discrete labor supply choices from when they choose working hours continuously. Copyright 2003 By The Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 44 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 1117-1133

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:44:y:2003:i:3:p:1117-1133

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  1. Dickens, William T & Lundberg, Shelly J, 1993. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 169-92, February.
  2. Shoven,John B. & Whalley,John, 1992. "Applying General Equilibrium," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521266550, November.
  3. Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "Taxes in a Labor Supply Model with Joint Wage-Hours Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 485-507, May.
  4. Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1996. "The Tax Unit and Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 398-418, April.
  5. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  6. Martijn P. Tummers & Isolde Woittiez, 1991. "A Simultaneous Wage and Labor Supply Model with Hours Restrictions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 393-423.
  7. Richard Blundell, 1992. "Labour supply and taxation: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 15-40, January.
  8. Stewart, M.B. & Swaffield, J.K., 1996. "Constraints on the Desired Hours of Work of British Men," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 468, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Ian Walker & Ian Preston, 1999. "Welfare measurement in labour supply models with nonlinear budget constraints," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 343-361.
  10. Shulamit Kahn & Kevin Lang, 1988. "The Effects of Hours Constraints on Labor Supply Estimates," NBER Working Papers 2647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  12. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  13. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
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Cited by:
  1. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
  2. Bargain, Olivier & Moreau, Nicolas, 2005. "Is the Collective Model of Labor Supply Useful for Tax Policy Analysis? A Simulation Exercise," IZA Discussion Papers 1451, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bessho, Shun-ichiro & Hayashi, Masayoshi, 2011. "Labor supply response and preferences specification: Estimates for prime-age males in Japan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 398-411, October.
  4. Vermeulen, F.M.P. & Bargain, O. & Beblo, M. & Beninger, D. & Blundell, R. & Carrasco, R. & Chiuri, M-C. & Laisney, F. & Lechene, V. & Moreau, N. & Myck, M. & Ruiz-castillo, J., 2006. "Collective models of labor supply with nonconvex budget sets and nonparticipation: A calibration approach," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-194160, Tilburg University.
  5. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2005. "The CES Utility Function, Non-linear Budget Constraints and Labor Supply : Results on Prime-age Males in Japan," Labor Economics Working Papers 22041, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  6. María Laura Alzúa & Guillermo Cruces & Laura Ripani, 2010. "Welfare Programs and Labor Supply in Developing Countries. Experimental Evidence from Latin America," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0095, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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