Payroll Taxes and the Decision to be Self-Employed
This paper investigates and quantifies the role of payroll taxes in the decision to be self-employed. It examines the effects of introducing into the labour market a payroll tax which taxes employers, but which exempts the self-employed. It exploits two changes in the tax legislation to confirm that it is changes in legislation and not other sector specific trends that are driving the results. Our findings suggest that payroll taxes do indeed influence the decision to be self-employed, with the probability of self-employment increasing as taxes on employees increase and vice versa. Furthermore, there appear to be declines in the return to self-employment caused by the tax, possibly due to inefficient allocation of labour towards self-employment. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
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