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Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results

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  • Olivier Bargain

    ()
    (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS, and IZA)

  • Christina Orsini

    (U. of Leuven)

  • Andreas Peichl

    ()
    (IZA, U. of Cologne, CESifo and ISER)

Abstract

We suggest the first large-scale international comparison of labor supply elasticities for 17 European countries and the US, separately by gender and marital status, with measurement differences netted out by using a harmonized empirical approach and comparable data sources. We find that own-wage elasticities are relatively small and much more uniform across countries than previously considered. Nonetheless, such differences do exist, and are found not to arise from different tax-benefit systems, wage/hour level or demographic compositions across countries, suggesting genuine differences in work preferences across countries. Furthermore, three other important results for welfare analysis are consistent across countries: the extensive (participation) margin dominates the intensive (hours) margin; for singles, this leads to larger labor supply responses in low-income groups; and income elasticities are extremely small everywhere. Finally, the results for cross-wage elasticities in couples are opposed between regions, consistent with complementarity in spouses' leisure in the US versus substitution in their household production in Europe.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1321.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1321

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Keywords: household labor supply; elasticity; taxation; Europe; US.;

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Comparing Inequality Aversion across Countries When Labor Supply Responses Differ," AMSE Working Papers 1323, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80041, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Pestel, Nico & Sommer, Eric, 2013. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: Efficient, but Regressive?," IZA Discussion Papers 7804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Zuzana Siebertova & Matus Senaj & Norbert Svarda & Jana Valachyova, 2014. "To Work or Not to Work? Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities," Working Papers Working Paper No. 1/2014, Council for Budget Responsibility.
  5. Jan Kabatek & Arthur Van Soest & Elena Stancanelli, 2014. "Income taxation, labour supply and housework: a discrete choice model for French couples," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00966801, HAL.
  6. Löffler, Max & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2013. "Validating Structural Labor Supply Models," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79819, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Alessio J. G. Brown & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2014. "The Minimum Wage from a Two-Sided Perspective," Kiel Working Papers 1906, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Jeanne, O., 2012. "Fiscal challenges to monetary dominance in the euro area: a theoretical perspective," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 16, pages 143-150, April.

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