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Optimal tax progressivity in unionised labour markets: what are the driving forces?

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  • Boeters, Stefan

Abstract

In labour markets with collective wage bargaining higher progressivity of the labour income tax creates a trade-off. On the one hand, wages are lowered and unemployment decreases, on the other hand, the individual labour supply decision is distorted at the hours-of-work margin. The optimal level of tax progressivity within this trade-off is determined using a numerical general equilibrium model with imperfect competition on the goods market, collective wage bargaining and a labour-supply module calibrated to empirically plausible elasticity values. The model is calibrated to macroeconomic and institutional parameters of both the OECD average and a number of individual OECD-countries. In most cases the optimal degree of tax progressivity is below the actual level. A decomposition approach shows that the optimal level is increased by high unemployment and by the general tax level. --

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 09-065.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09065

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Keywords: labour taxation; tax progressivity; optimal taxation; collective wage bargaining; unemployment;

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Cited by:
  1. Boeters, Stefan, 2010. "Optimal tax progressivity in unionised labour markets: Simulation results for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-035, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Boeters, Stefan & Savard, Luc, 2011. "The labour market in CGE models," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Boeters, Stefan & Savard, Luc, 2013. "The Labor Market in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.

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