Bargaining frictions, labor income taxation, and economic performance
This paper is an attempt to explain differences in economic performance between a subset of OECD countries. We classify countries in terms of their degree of rigidity in the labor market, and use a matching model with labor/leisure choice, bargaining frictions, and labor income taxation to capture these rigidity differences. Added flexibility improves economic performance in different ways depending on whether income taxation is high or low. Feeding income taxation rates estimated from the countries at hand, we find that the model is able to replicate the observed rigidity levels. The model is also shown to reproduce well cross-country differences in non-employment population ratios and the share of part-time jobs. In the absence of rigidity differences, taxation shows little promise to replicate cross-country differences, as it has insufficient quantitative effects on production and productivity. However, the interaction of rigidity and income taxation is crucial in explaining the empirical patterns of the non-employment rate and of the share of part-time jobs.
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