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How much has labour taxation contributed to European structural unemployment?

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  • Christophe Planas
  • Werner Roeger
  • Alessandro Rossi

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of labour taxes on Euro area unemployment. Empirical estimates obtained so far can be criticised as being spurious because the regressions generally lack non-measurable variables constituting the reservation wage that can possibly be non stationary. Here we overcome this problem by using an unobserved component model. For the Euro area unemployment, we find a significant tax effect that is in the middle of the estimates that can be found in the empirical literature. This study gives support to the view that lowering labour taxes can help to reduce unemployment in continental Europe.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 183.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0183

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Keywords: unemployment; labour taxes; reservation wage; Planas; Roeger; Rossi; labour taxation; structural unemployment;

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References

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  1. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1998. "A Theory-Consistent System Approach for Estimating Potential Output and the NAIRU," Working Paper Series 74, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  2. Llaudes, Ricardo, 2005. "The Phillips curve and long-term unemployment," Working Paper Series 0441, European Central Bank.
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  4. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
  5. Francesco Daveri, 2002. "Labor Taxes and Unemployment: a Survey of the Aggregate Evidence," CeRP Working Papers 18, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  6. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
  7. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2001. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198523543, September.
  8. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Tommaso Proietti, 2004. "Dating Business Cycles: A Methodological Contribution with an Application to the Euro Area," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(4), pages 537-565, 09.
  9. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lawrence F. Katz & Olivier Blanchard, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 69-74, May.
  11. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1999. "Output gaps and monetary policy in the EMU area1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 801-812, April.
  12. Pete Richardson & Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Mara Meacci & David Rae & David Turner, 2000. "The Concept, Policy Use and Measurement of Structural Unemployment: Estimating a Time Varying NAIRU Across 21 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
  13. Mikael Apel & Per Jansson, 1999. "System estimates of potential output and the NAIRU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 373-388.
  14. Silvia Fabiani & Ricardo Mestre, 2004. "A system approach for measuring the euro area NAIRU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 311-341, 05.
  15. Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Prosperity and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 1-15, May.
  16. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  17. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mária Lackó, 2004. "Tax Rates and Corruption: Labour-market and Fiscal Effects. Empirical cross-country comparisons on OECD and transition countries," wiiw Research Reports 309, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  2. Berger, Tino & Everaert, Gerdie, 2010. "Labour taxes and unemployment evidence from a panel unobserved component model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 354-364, March.
  3. Sachs, Andreas, 2010. "A Bayesian approach to determine the impact of institutions on the unemployment rate," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-058, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. T. Berger & F. Heylen, 2009. "Differences in hours worked in the OECD: institutions or fiscal policies?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/601, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  6. Alfonso Arpaia & Giuseppe Carone, 2004. "Do labour taxes (and their composition) affect wages in the short and the long run? - Alfonso Arpaia and Giuseppe Carone," European Economy - Economic Papers 216, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. José Emilio Boscá & Rafael Domenech & Javier Ferri, 2009. "Tax reforms and labour-market performance: An evaluation for Spain using REMS," Working Papers 0910, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  8. Gelauff, George & Lejour, Arjan, 2006. "The new Lisbon Strategy: An estiamtion of the impact of reaching 5 Lisbon targets," MPRA Paper 16168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Christophe Planas & Alessandro Rossi & Gabriele Fiorentini, 2008. "The marginal likelihood of Structural Time Series Models, with application to the euroareaa nd US NAIRU," Working Paper Series 21-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.

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