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

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  • Olivier Bargain

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM), IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor)

  • Kristian Orsini

    (CES - Center for Economic Studies - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique)

  • Andreas Peichl

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Cologne - University of Cologne, CESifo - CESifo, ISER - University of Essex)

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 HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00805736.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00805736

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

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Cited by:
  1. Alessio J. G. Brown & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2014. "The Minimum Wage from a Two-Sided Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 4868, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Pronzato, Chiara Daniela, 2014. "Fighting Lone Mothers’ Poverty through In-Work Benefits Methodological Issues and Policy Suggestions," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201420, University of Turin.
  3. 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.
  4. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2012. "Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 6914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Manuel Kallweit & Anabell Kohlmeier, 2014. "Zusatzbeitraege in der Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(4), pages 490-517, July.
  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. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Comparing Inequality Aversion across Countries When Labor Supply Responses Differ," Working Papers halshs-00805751, HAL.
  8. Jan Kabatek & Arthur Van Soest & Elena Stancanelli, 2014. "Income taxation, labour supply and housework: a discrete choice model for French couples," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00966801, HAL.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00966801 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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).

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