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Intertemporal Labor Supply Substitution? Evidence from the Swiss Income Tax Holidays

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  • Isabel Z. Martínez
  • Emmanuel Saez
  • Michael Siegenthaler

Abstract

This paper estimates intertemporal labor supply responses to two-year long income tax holidays staggered across Swiss cantons. Cantons shifted from an income tax system based on the previous two years' income to a standard annual pay as you earn system, leaving two years of income untaxed. We find significant but quantitatively very small responses of wage earnings with an intertemporal elasticity of 0.025 overall. High wage income earners and especially the self-employed display larger responses with elasticities around 0.1 and 0.25, respectively, most likely driven by tax avoidance. We find no effects along the extensive margin at all.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Z. Martínez & Emmanuel Saez & Michael Siegenthaler, 2021. "Intertemporal Labor Supply Substitution? Evidence from the Swiss Income Tax Holidays," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(2), pages 506-546, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:111:y:2021:i:2:p:506-46
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180746
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    3. Jouko Verho & Kari Hämäläinen & Ohto Kanninen, 2022. "Removing Welfare Traps: Employment Responses in the Finnish Basic Income Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 501-522, February.
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    5. Sansone, Dario, 2019. "Pink work: Same-sex marriage, employment and discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    6. Martinez, Isabel Z., 2016. "Beggar-Thy-Neighbour Tax Cuts: Mobility after a Local Income and Wealth Tax Reform in Switzerland," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145643, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Yannic Stucki & Jacqueline Thomet, 2021. "A neoclassical perspective on Switzerland’s 1990s stagnation," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 157(1), pages 1-26, December.
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    9. Chan, Marc K. & Morris, Todd & Polidano, Cain & Vu, Ha, 2022. "Income and saving responses to tax incentives for private retirement savings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    10. Kazuhiko Sumiya & Jesper Bagger, 2022. "Income Taxes, Gross Hourly Wages, and the Anatomy of Behavioral Responses: Evidence from a Danish Tax Reform," Economics Working Papers 2022-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
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    14. Buhlmann, Florian & Doerrenberg, Philipp & Voget, Johannes & Loos, Benjamin, 2020. "How do taxes affect the trading behavior of private investors? Evidence from individual portfolio data," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-047, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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