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Tax Progression and Human Capital in Imperfect Labour Markets

  • Clemens Fuest
  • Bernd Huber

Recent contributions to the theory of taxation argue that tax progression raises welfare and employment in the presence of labour market imperfections. This literature takes the endowment of workers with human capital as given. The present paper analyses the effects of tax progression in a model with endogenous human capital formation. We show that the effect of tax progression on human capital investment depends on the deductibility of the cost of human capital formation. With full deductibility, tax progression raises employment and welfare. With incomplete deductibility, in contrast, the effect of tax progression on employment and welfare may be negative. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 2 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:2:y:2001:i:1:p:1-18
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  1. Stephen Nickell & Brian Bell, 1996. "Would cutting payroll taxes on the unskilled have a significant effect on unemployment?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  3. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2000. "Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 79-93, January.
  4. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
  5. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1997. "Minimum wages and the incentives for skill formation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-40, April.
  6. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  7. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  8. Koskela, Erkki & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1996. "Tax progression is good for employment in popular models of trade union behaviour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-80, August.
  9. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
  10. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  11. Hansen, Claus Thustrup, 1999. " Lower Tax Progression, Longer Hours and Higher Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 49-65, March.
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