IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reform of labour taxes in Latvia 2011-2013


  • IlmÄ rs Sņucins

    (Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Latvia, Riga, Latvia)

  • Ieva Kodoliņa-MiglÄ ne

    (Head of Tax Policy Strategy Division, Ministry of Finance of Latvia, Riga, Latvia)


The paper analyses the motives for and results of the labour tax reforms undertaken by the Latvian government in 2011-2013 with a special focus on the lowwage sector. The reforms were developed with the goal of overcoming negative effects on the labour market caused by the deep economic crisis in 2008-2010 as well as of coping with an increase in labour tax burdens during consolidation. In 2008-2010, Latvia was seriously affected by the global economic crisis and during these years real gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 21 percent. Labour market conditions became worse rapidly and at the beginning of 2010, the unemployment rate reached 21.5 per cent of the economically active population. For the period of 2011-2016, the reforms provide for a reduction in the rates of personal income tax (PIT) and social security contributions (SSC) as well as for an increase in PIT allowances. Taking into account the changes made in labour tax laws, we employed forecasts of average wages and applied the Eurostat methodology to calculate the tax wedge for different groups of employees depending on income level and on the number of their dependants. The results show that the impact of the reform varies greatly and it is more beneficial for employees with dependants and for low-wage earners. The findings of the paper contribute to policy discussions and decisions on the tax wedge, especially in the Euro area. In the period covered by the paper, about half of the Euro area member states (including Latvia) received a country-specific recommendation to address this issue in the context of the European Semester.

Suggested Citation

  • IlmÄ rs Sņucins & Ieva Kodoliņa-MiglÄ ne, 2015. "Reform of labour taxes in Latvia 2011-2013," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 39(4), pages 371-391.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipf:finteo:v:39:y:2015:i:4:p:371-391

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anders Aslund & Valdis Dombrovskis, 2011. "How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 6024.
    2. Igors Kasjanovs & Anna Kasjanova, 2011. "The Crisis in Latvia," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 12(3), pages 105-122, July.
    3. Anna Zasova, 2011. "Labour market institutions: an obstacle or support to Latvian labour market recovery?," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 5-24, July.
    4. Primož Dolenc & Suzana Laporšek, 2010. "Tax Wedge on Labour and its Effect on Employment Growth in the European Union," Prague Economic Papers, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2010(4), pages 344-358.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Māra Bukovska & Marija Krūmiņa & Alf Vanags & Linda Vildava, 2016. "The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations (PRECARIR) Country report: Latvia," Research Reports 16, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    2. Jean Pisani-Ferry & André Sapir & Guntram B. Wolff, . "EU-IMF assistance to euro area countries- an early assessment," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 779, December.
    3. Olivier Blanchard & Mark Griffiths & Bertrand Gruss, 2013. "Boom, Bust, Recovery: Forensics of the Latvia Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(2 (Fall)), pages 325-388.
    4. Krasnopjorovs Olegs, 2020. "Have the Baltic Countries Run Out of Labour Reserves?," Baltic Journal of European Studies, Sciendo, vol. 10(3), pages 45-66, December.
    5. Deborah Mabbett & Waltraud Schelkle, 2015. "What difference does Euro membership make to stabilization? The political economy of international monetary systems revisited," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 508-534, June.
    6. D�ra Győrffy, 2015. "Austerity and growth in Central and Eastern Europe: understanding the link through contrasting crisis management in Hungary and Latvia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 129-152, June.
    7. Mark Weisbrot & Rebecca Ray, 2011. "Latvia's Internal Devaluation: A Success Story?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2011-25, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    8. Olivier Blanchard & Mark Griffiths & Bertrand Gruss, 2013. "Boom, Bust, Recovery Forensics of the Latvia Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(2 (Fall)), pages 325-388.
    9. Jaan Masso & Kerly Espenberg, 2013. "Early application of fiscal austerity measures in the Baltic states," Chapters, in: Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ed.), Public Sector Shock, chapter 3, pages 84-133, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Anders Aslund, 2012. "Southern Europe Ignores Lessons from Latvia at Its Peril," Policy Briefs PB12-17, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    11. Anders Åslund, 2016. "Why Have the Baltic Tigers Been So Successful?," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(4), pages 03-08, January.
    12. Konstantins Benkovskis & Olegs Tkacevs, 2019. "Getting Old Is No Picnic? Sector-Specific Relationship Between Workers Age and Firm Productivity," Discussion Papers 2019/03, Latvijas Banka.
    13. Jeffrey Sommers & Charles Woolfson & Arunas Juska, 2014. "Austerity as a global prescription and lessons from the neoliberal Baltic experiment," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 25(3), pages 397-416, September.
    14. Dorothee Bohle, 2017. "Mortgaging Europe’s periphery," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 124, European Institute, LSE.
    15. Ludmila Fadejeva & Ieva Opmane, 2016. "Internal labour market mobility in 2005–2014 in Latvia: the micro data approach," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 152-174.
    16. Barry Eichengreen, 2012. "Regional Financial Arrangements and the International Monetary Fund," Finance Working Papers 23354, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    17. Gina Cristina Dimian & Bogdan Ileanu & Josef Jablonský & Jan Fábry, 2013. "Analysis of European Labour Market in the Crisis Context," Prague Economic Papers, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2013(1), pages 50-71.
    18. Matthew Melchiorre & Emilio Rocca, 2013. "The Unintended Consequences of Italy's Labour Laws: How Extensive Labour Regulation Distorts the Italian Economy," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 156-173, June.
    19. Nicolas Gavoille & Anna Zasova, 2021. "What we pay in the shadows: Labor tax evasion, minimum wage hike and employment," SSE Riga/BICEPS Research Papers 6, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS);Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga).
    20. Bas B. Bakker & Marta Korczak, 2017. "Phoenix from the Ashes: The Recovery of the Baltics from the 2008/2009 Crisis," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(4), pages 520-544, December.

    More about this item


    tax reform; personal income tax; social security contributions; tax wedge; tax allowance; Latvia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ipf:finteo:v:39:y:2015:i:4:p:371-391. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Martina Fabris (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.