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Hourly Wage Rate and Taxable Labor Income Responsiveness to Changes in Marginal Tax Rates

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  • Sören Blomquist
  • Håkan Selin

Abstract

Recently, a voluminous literature estimating the taxable income elasticity has emerged as an important field in empirical public economics. However, to a large extent it is still unknown how the hourly wage rate, an important component of taxable income, reacts to changes in marginal tax rates. In this study we use a rich panel data set and a sequence of tax reforms that took place in Sweden during the 1980’s to estimate the elasticity of the hourly wage rate with respect to the net-of-tax rate. While carefully accounting for the endogeneity of marginal tax rates as well as other factors that determine wage rates we do find a statistically significant response both among married men and married women. The hourly wage rate elasticity with respect to the net-of-tax rate is estimated to 0.14-0.16 for males and 0.41-0.57 for females. In addition, we obtain uncompensated taxable labor income elasticities of around 0.21 for men and 0.96-1.44 for women. In contrast to earlier studies, we also find significant income effects for males. Accordingly, for males the compensated taxable labor income elasticity is about 4 percentage points higher than the uncompensated one.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2644.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2644

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Keywords: income taxation; hourly wage rates; work effort; taxable income;

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