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Why Do Europeans Work (Much) Less? It Is Taxes And Government Spending

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  • TINE DHONT
  • FREDDY HEYLEN

Abstract

"We develop and calibrate a theoretical model that explains per capita hours worked and output growth as a function of three fiscal policy variables. Differences in income taxes, productive government expenditures, and nonemployment transfers are sufficient to answer the question why Europeans work (much) less than Americans and why some Europeans work less than others. Differences in taste for leisure have little role to play given the actual variation of these three policy variables." ("JEL" E24, E62, J22, O41) Copyright (c) 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Tine Dhont & Freddy Heylen, 2008. "Why Do Europeans Work (Much) Less? It Is Taxes And Government Spending," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 197-207, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:46:y:2008:i:2:p:197-207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto F. Alesina & Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "Work and Leisure in the U.S. and Europe: Why So Different?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 1-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cardia, Emanuela & Kozhaya, Norma & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J, 2003. " Distortionary Taxation and Labor Supply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 350-373, June.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    4. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
    5. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2000. "Fiscal policy, elastic labor supply, and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 185-210, February.
    6. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, January.
    7. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, April.
    8. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    9. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.
    10. Patrick Honohan & Brendan Walsh, 2002. "Catching Up with the Leaders: The Irish Hare," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 1-78.
    11. Roeger, Werner & De Fiore, Fiorella, 1999. "Growth and Employment Effects of Fiscal Regimes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 200-222, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:irapec:v:32:y:2018:i:4:p:525-545 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Saeid Mahdavi & Emmanuel Alanis, 2013. "Public expenditures and the unemployment rate in the American states: panel evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(20), pages 2926-2937, July.
    3. Buyse, Tim & Heylen, Freddy & Van De Kerckhove, Renaat, 2017. "Pension reform in an OLG model with heterogeneous abilities," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 144-172, April.
    4. Brecht Boone & Freddy Heylen, 2015. "Cross-country differences in unemployment: fiscal policy,unions and household preferences in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 15/899, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. António Afonso & Juan Alegre, 2011. "Economic growth and budgetary components: a panel assessment for the EU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 703-723, December.
    6. T. Buyse & F. Heylen, 2012. "Leaving the empirical (battle)ground: Output and welfare effects of fiscal consolidation in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/826, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. Arbex, Marcelo, 2013. "Tax enforcement policies, tax evasion and time allocation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 285-293.
    8. Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2011. "Macroeconomic volatilities and the labor market: First results from the euro experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 44-60, March.
    9. Tim BUYSE & Freddy HEYLEN & Renaat VAN DE KERCKHOVE, 2011. "Pension reform, employment by age and long-run growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011025, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    10. Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2014. "Heterogeneous ability and the effects of fiscal policy on employment, income and welfare in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/898, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    11. Garett Jones & W. Joel Schneider, 2010. "Iq In The Production Function: Evidence From Immigrant Earnings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 743-755, July.
    12. Alessandra Casarico & Alessandro Sommacal, 2012. "Labor Income Taxation, Human Capital, and Growth: The Role of Childcare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1182-1207, December.
    13. Berger, Tino & Everaert, Gerdie, 2010. "Labour taxes and unemployment evidence from a panel unobserved component model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 354-364, March.
    14. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2013. "Pension reform, employment by age, and long-run growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 769-809, April.
    15. Vincenzo Atella & Lorenzo Carbonari & Paola Samà, 2017. "Hours Worked in Selected OECD Countries: an Empirical Assessment," CEIS Research Paper 412, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 21 Jul 2017.
    16. Heylen Freddy & Van de Kerckhove Renaat, 2013. "Employment by age, education, and economic growth: effects of fiscal policy composition in general equilibrium," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-55, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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