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Who bears labour taxes and social contributions? A meta-analysis approach

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  • Ángel Melguizo
  • José González-Páramo

Abstract

In this paper we apply the meta-regression technique to survey the empirical literature on the economic incidence of labour taxes and social security contributions. In particular, we focus on the effects of taxation on wages to test the conventional view that employees bear the burden due to lower net wages. Based on 52 empirical papers, we find that economic institutions, the tax wedge definition, and the temporal focus significantly affect the results. In the long run, workers bear between two thirds of the tax burden in Continental and Anglo-Saxon economies, and nearly 90 % in the Nordic economies. However, despite the numerous set of controlling variables, a significant part of the variability of the empirical literature remains unexplained. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ángel Melguizo & José González-Páramo, 2013. "Who bears labour taxes and social contributions? A meta-analysis approach," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 247-271, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:4:y:2013:i:3:p:247-271
    DOI: 10.1007/s13209-012-0091-x
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    2. Hong, Sanghyun, 2019. "Meta-analysis and publication bias: How well does the FAT-PET-PEESE procedure work? A replication study of Alinaghi & Reed (Research Synthesis Methods, 2018)," International Journal for Re-Views in Empirical Economics (IREE), ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 3(2019-4), pages 1-22.
    3. Mario Holzner & Maruška Vizek & Goran Vukšić, 2022. "Wage Bargaining Coordination, Taxation and Labor Costs: The Effects of Fiscal Devaluation," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 64(2), pages 324-349, June.
    4. Elvire Guillaud & Matthew Olckers & Michaël Zemmour, 2020. "Four Levers of Redistribution: The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Inequality Reduction," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 444-466, June.
    5. Kai-Uwe Müller & Michael Neumann, 2017. "Who Bears the Burden of Social Security Contributions in Germany? Evidence from 35 Years of Administrative Data," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(2), pages 165-179, June.
    6. Thomas Leoni & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2020. "Senkung der Lohnnebenkosten und Finanzierungsvarianten. Bisherige Erkenntnisse und internationale Reformbeispiele," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 66851, March.
    7. KODAMA Naomi & YOKOYAMA Izumi, 2017. "Labor Market Impact of Labor Cost Increase without Productivity Gain: A natural experiment from the 2003 social insurance premium reform in Japan," Discussion papers 17093, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Mr. Frederik G Toscani & Christoph Freudenberg, 2019. "Informality and the Challenge of Pension Adequacy: Outlook and Reform Options for Peru," IMF Working Papers 2019/149, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Neumann, Michael, 2015. "How reliable are incidence estimates based on cross-sectional distributions? Evidence from simulations and linked employer-employee data," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112920, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Jacobs, Bas & Jongen, Egbert L.W. & Zoutman, Floris T., 2017. "Revealed social preferences of Dutch political parties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 81-100.
    11. Neumann, M., 2017. "Earnings responses to social security contributions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 55-73.
    12. Nicole Bosch, 2019. "The Incidence of Pension Contributions," CPB Discussion Paper 388.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. José L. Torres, 2022. "Social security contributions distribution and economic activity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(2), pages 378-407, April.
    14. Giuseppe Croce, 2015. "Il "welfare bilaterale" e i suoi effetti sull’occupazione," QUADERNI DI ECONOMIA DEL LAVORO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(103), pages 223-244.
    15. Adi Brender & Eran Politzer, 2014. "The Effect of Legislated Tax Changes on Tax Revenues in Israel," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2014.08, Bank of Israel.
    16. Giuseppe Croce, 2015. "Tax-benefits policies jointly run by the social partners:Labour market implications of the Bipartite Sectoral Funds," Working Papers in Public Economics 173, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour taxes; Incidence; Meta-analysis; C83; E24; H22;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence

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