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Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work

  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Huber, Bernd

This paper discusses the effect of tax progression on wage setting and employment in a unionised labour market. Recent contributions to this field argue that tax progression paradoxically enhances employment if wage setting is subject to collective bargaining. In this literature, individual hours of work are usually assumed to be exogenously given. We show that the positive employment effect of tax progression can be generalized to a model with a positive labour supply elasticity of individual workers. However, the wage-moderating effect of tax progression does not unambiguously carry over to a world where the union may fix both wages and individual hours of work. In this framework, the union reacts to tax progression by cutting individual working time. The wage rate, however, may decrease or increase. If the wage rate increases, the number of employed workers may decline despite the reduction in hours of work.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 79-93

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:7:y:2000:i:1:p:79-93
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 379-396, July.
  2. Booth, Alison & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Employment and Length of the Working Week in a Unionized Economy in which Hours of Work Influence Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(207), pages 428-36, December.
  3. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
  4. Hersoug, Tor, 1984. "Union Wage Responses to Tax Changes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 37-51, March.
  5. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber, 1999. "Tax Coordination and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 7-26, February.
  6. Andrew Oswald & Ian Walker, 1993. "Labour supply, contract theory and unions," IFS Working Papers W93/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  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. Calmfors, Lars, 1985. "Work sharing, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 293-309.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. KEEN, Michael & MARCHAND, Maurice, 1996. "Fiscal Competition and the Pattern of Public Spending," CORE Discussion Papers 1996001, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Leslie, Derek G & Wise, John, 1980. "The Productivity of Hours in U.K. Manufacturing and Production Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 74-84, March.
  13. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  14. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
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