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The Effects of Reduced Social Security Contributions on Employment: an Evaluation of the 2003 French Reform

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  • Matthieu Bunel

    (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - CNRS : FR3435 - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEMLV), CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie)

  • Yannick L'Horty

    ()
    (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - CNRS : FR3435 - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEMLV), ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l'Utilisation des Données Individuelles Temporelles en Economie - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne (UPEC) : EA437 - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEMLV))

Abstract

In 2003, the French government decided to reform the system managing the different minimum wage regulations and the targeted reductions to employers' social security contributions. The main objective of the reform was to simplify the complex regulations that were created by the progressive introduction of the 35-hour week. The reform incidentally created large variations in labour costs, depending on the type of firm and the wage level within the firm. This paper presents an evaluation of the impact of this reform on employment using a balanced panel of firms with more than five employees, drawn from a matching between several administrative data sources from 2000 to 2005. In both types of firm, significant employment elasticities can be found with respect to labour costs that have the expected signs: a rise of 1% in average labour costs reduces employment by 0.4%. As the majority of firms that remained on the 39-hour week received greater reductions, the Fillon reform allowed them to raise their level of employment. Firms that adopted the 35-hour week experienced the opposite: the reform led to a fall in employment. Ultimately, the Fillon reform has had no clear effect on aggregate employment, measured either in job numbers or full-time equivalents (FTE).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00856211.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00856211

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Related research

Keywords: public policy evaluation; reduced social security contributions; labour costs; semiparametric estimations;

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References

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  1. Matthieu Bunel, 2004. "Aides incitatives et déterminants des embauches des établissements passés aux 35 heures," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 376(1), pages 91-115.
  2. Dehejia, R.H. & Wahba, S., 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-Experimental Causal Studies," Discussion Papers 1998_02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Impact of Differential Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. A. Kugler, M. Kugler, 2008. "Labour Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Working Papers eg0056, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2008.
  5. Stefano Iacus & Gary King & Giuseppe Porro, . "cem: Software for Coarsened Exact Matching," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 30(i09).
  6. Brittain, John A, 1971. "The Incidence of Social Security Payroll Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 110-25, March.
  7. Yannick L’Horty & Fabrice Gilles & Matthieu Bunel, 2009. "Les effets des allégements de cotisations sociales sur l’emploi et les salaires : une évaluation de la réforme de 2003," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 429(1), pages 77-105.
  8. Matthew Blackwell & Stefano Iacus & Gary King & Giuseppe Porro, 2009. "cem: Coarsened exact matching in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(4), pages 524-546, December.
  9. Markus Fr–lich, 2004. "Programme Evaluation with Multiple Treatments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 181-224, 04.
  10. Giuseppe Porro & Stefano Maria Iacus, 2009. "Random Recursive Partitioning: a matching method for the estimation of the average treatment effect," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 163-185.
  11. Vroman, Wayne, 1974. "Employer Payroll Tax Incidence: Empirical Tests with Cross-Country Data," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 29(2), pages 184-200.
  12. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S72-101, July.
  13. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects of Multiple Treatments Under the Conditional Independence Assumption," IZA Discussion Papers 91, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Lehmann, Etienne & Marical, François & Rioux, Laurence, 2013. "Labor income responds differently to income-tax and payroll-tax reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 66-84.
  2. Nadine Levratto & Aziza Garsaa & Luc Tessier, 2013. "To what extent do exemptions from social security contributions affect firm growth? New evidence using quantile estimations on panel data," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-15, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.

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