Why is the Public Sector More Labor-Intensive? A Distortionary Tax Argument
AbstractA relatively high labor-intensity in government-run entities need not imply slack in their organization. Rather, it is a rational reaction to various forms of wage tax advantage that the public sector has over private firms. Even though an unequal tax treatment of public and private sectors precludes production efficiency, it may improve welfare by mitigating the labor supply distortion. With inelastic labor supply, privatizing a previously government-run sector improves welfare, while with elastic labor supply a full outsourcing of government activities can never be optimal if it goes along with a decrease in net wages.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1259.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
public sector; labor intensity; taxation;
Other versions of this item:
- Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2008. "Why is the public sector more labor-intensive? A distortionary tax argument," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 105-124, July.
- Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "Why Is the Public Sector More Labor-Intensive? A Distortionary Tax Argument," IZA Discussion Papers 1413, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-MIC-2004-09-12 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2004-09-12 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2004-09-30 (Public Finance)
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