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Unemployment, taxation and public expenditure in OECD economies

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  • Doménech, Rafael
  • Garcí­a, José Ramón

Abstract

This paper considers the financing of productive public goods and social benefits through different types of taxes in a model with unemployment. We incorporate unemployment, caused by the wage-setting behaviour of a monopolistic union, in a neoclassical growth model which integrates a quite detailed structure of taxes used to finance productive public expenditures and social transfers and parameterizes the inefficiency of government to transform taxes into public goods or transfers. The main conclusion is that the relationship between unemployment and labour taxes critically depends on the degree of government efficiency and the unions' perception on how taxes determine the welfare state. If unions internalize that transfers and social benefits are closely related to labour taxes, they do not pressure for higher wages in response to higher taxes. This result offers an alternative explanation to the lack of a positive and robust correlation between unemployment and labour taxes in most OECD countries and periods, whereas the empirical evidence for 21 OECD countries support the effects on unemployment rates of the interaction between taxes and government inefficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Doménech, Rafael & Garcí­a, José Ramón, 2008. "Unemployment, taxation and public expenditure in OECD economies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 202-217, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:24:y:2008:i:1:p:202-217
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    1. Tafadzwa Ruzive & Thando Mkhombo & Simba Mhaka & Nomahlubi Mavikela & Andrew Phiri, 2017. "Elecricity intensity and unemployment in South Africa: A quantile regression analysis," Working Papers 1711, Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University, revised Sep 2017.
    2. Raurich, Xavier & Sorolla, Valeri, 2014. "Growth, unemployment and wage inertia," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 42-59.
    3. Ahmet AYSU & Gökhan DÖKMEN, 2011. "An Investigation on the Relationship between Government Size and Unemployment Rate: Evidence from OECD Countries," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 16(16).
    4. José Ramón García & Valeri Sorolla, 2014. "Monopolistic Competition and Different Wage Setting Systems," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(1), pages 48-77, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Jose Emilio Boscá & Rafael Domenech & Javier Ferri, 2008. "Tax Reforms and Labour-market Performance: An Evaluation for Spain using REMS," Working Papers 0804, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
    7. García, José Ramón & Sala, Hector, 2008. "The tax system incidence on unemployment: A country-specific analysis for the OECD economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1232-1245, November.
    8. Xavier Raurich & Valeri Sorolla, 2008. "A General Framework for Growth Models with Non-Competitive Labor and Product Markets and Disequilibrium Unemployment," Working Papers 369, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Mahalia Jackman, 2014. "A Note on the Labor Market Effects of Remittances in Latin American and Caribbean Countries: Do Thresholds Exist?," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 52(1), pages 52-67, March.

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