Labour Market Institutions and the Effectiveness of Tax and Benefit Policies in Enchancing Employment: A General Equilibrium Analysis
AbstractThe paper aims to shed light on the relationships between labour market institutions with respect to wage formation and the effectiveness of economic and labour market policies in enhancing employment and overall economic performance. We evaluate tax and benefit policies under four alternative specifications of wage formation : fixed, market determined, and bargained wages. In the latter, we also distinguish between the short- and long-run effects, and between uncoordinated and coordinated (nation-wide) bargaining. To this end, we build a computable general equilibrium model which is calibrated using data on the Finnish economy and labour market, distinguishing workers of three skill categories by the level of their education. Evaluating policies under various possible labour market institutions, the paper also seeks relevance in a wider EU perspective. Overall, the model simulations show that labour market institutions with respect to wage formation influence to a large extent the effectiveness of many policies aiming at enhancing employment. When wages are allowed to react, policies expanding the demand for labour, which work well under fixed wages, turn out to be quite inefficient in the short run. The reverse emerges with supply side policies such as reducing benefits so that wage reactions reinforce the positive effects of these policies. The reduction of marginal taxes interacts with labour market institutions in quite a sensitive way. Under wage bargaining, tax reductions should be channelled to low-income earners, while the reverse holds under flexible wage formation. Policies directed at raising labour demand for a targeted group, typically the low skilled, are able, on the other hand, to lower unemployment amongst this group of workers also under coordinated wage bargaining. However, if the group concerned enters in a new wage bargaining round unilaterally, the effect of this policy can even be quite negative in terms of its impact on employment due to the rise of compensatory wage claims through the wage-wage links. We also consider a hypothetical, fully flexible labour market and find the extent of the widening of the wage distribution, but also the magnitude of clear economic gains, related to a low rate of unemployment reached through the assumed wage adjustment process. The most effective policy in terms of employment, labour supply and unemployment is the curtailment of social security benefits while out of work. Also a neutral policy of compensating the cut in unemployment benefits by a tax reduction leads, under bargaining, to an expansion in the economy. The results call for coordination in tax and benefit policy measures, so that incentives to work and to stay out of work are not created simultaneously
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1008.
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2006-05-18 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-04-12 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bovenberg, A. Lans & Graafland, Johan J. & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2000.
"Tax reform and the Dutch labor market: an applied general equilibrium approach,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 193-214, October.
- A. Lans Bovenberg & Johan J. Graafland & Ruud A. de Mooij, 1998. "Tax Reform and the Dutch Labor Market: An Applied General Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 6693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A & Graafland, Johan J, 1998. "Tax Reform and the Dutch Labour Market: An Applied General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 1983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & Graafland, J.J. & Mooij, R.A. de, 2000. "Tax reform and the Dutch labour market: An applied general equilibrium approach," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-83974, Tilburg University.
- Bean, Charles R., 1994. "European unemployment: A retrospective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 523-534, April.
- Giuseppe Carone & Aino Salom�ki & Herwig Immervoll & Dominique Paturot, 2003.
"Indicators of unemployment and low-wage traps (marginal effective tax rates on labour),"
European Economy - Economic Papers
197, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Giuseppe Carone & Aino Salomaki & Herwig Immervoll & Dominique Paturot, 2004. "Indicators of unemployment and low-wage traps (Marginal effective tax rates on labour)," Labor and Demography 0409007, EconWPA.
- Giuseppe Carone & Aino Salomaki, 2004.
"Reforms In Tax-Benefit Systems In Order To Increase Employment Incentives In The Eu,"
Labor and Demography
- G. Carone & A. Salom�ki, 2001. "Reforms in tax-benefit systems in order to increase emplyoment incentives in the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 160, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Broer, D.P. & Draper, D.A.G. & Huizinga, F.H., 2000. "The equilibrium rate of unemployment in the Netherlands," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-383721, Tilburg University.
- Pekka Sinko & Pasi Holm & Pekka Tossavainen, 1999. "Labour Market Policy and Unemployment - A Job Flow Model of Finland," Discussion Papers 210, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Bohringer, Christoph & Boeters, Stefan & Feil, Michael, 2005.
"Taxation and unemployment: an applied general equilibrium approach,"
Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 81-108, January.
- Christoph Boehringer & Stefan Boeters & Michael Feil, 2004. "Taxation and Unemployment: An Applied General Equilibrium Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1272, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lassila, Jukka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2001. "Ageing, Demographic Risks, and Pension Reform," Discussion Papers 765, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Alho, Kari, 2004. "The Finnish EMU Buffers and the Labour Market under Asymmetric Shocks," Discussion Papers 914, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf L–fgren & Tomas Sj–gren, 2002. "Wage setting and tax progressivity in dynamic general equilibrium," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 490-504, July.
- Koskela , Erkki, 2001. "Labour taxation and employment in trade union models: A partial survey," Research Discussion Papers 19/2001, Bank of Finland.
- Marit Hinnosaar, 2004. "The Impact Of Benefit And Tax Reforms On Estonian Labor Market In A General Equilibrium Framework," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 31, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
- John C. Driscoll & Steinar Holden, 2004. "Fairness and Inflation Persistence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 240-251, 04/05.
- repec:fth:bfdipa:19/2001 is not listed on IDEAS
- Arntz, Melanie & Boeters, Stefan & Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2005.
"Alternative Approaches to Discrete Working Time Choice in an AGE Framework,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
05-62, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Arntz, Melanie & Boeters, Stefan & Gurtzgen, Nicole, 2006. "Alternative approaches to discrete working time choice in an AGE framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1008-1032, December.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2000.
"Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses,"
NBER Working Papers
7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
- Pekka Sinko, 2004. "Progressive Taxation Under Centralised Wage Setting," Discussion Papers 349, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1999.
"Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance,"
Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 397-415, September.
- Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1996. "Wage Bargaining, Union Membership, and the Organization of Unemployment Insurance," Working Paper Series 1996:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Alho, Kari, 2002. "The Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment and Policies to Lower It: The Case of Finland," Discussion Papers 839, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2005. "Union membership and the erosion of the Ghent system: Lessons from Finland," Labor and Demography 0508008, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kaija Hyvönen-Rajecki).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.