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To Work or Not to Work? Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities


  • Zuzana Siebertova

    () (Council for Budget Responsibility)

  • Matus Senaj

    () (National Bank of Slovakia, Research Department)

  • Norbert Svarda

    () (Council for Budget Responsibility)

  • Jana Valachyova

    () (Council for Budget Responsibility)


This paper provides a microeconometric analysis of extensive margin labour supply elasticities in Slovakia. We find that a one percent increase in net wage increases the probability of economic activity by 0.263 percentage points. Taking into account tax and transfer system details valid in 2009-2011, a one percent increase in transfers decreases the semi-elasticity of labour force participation by 0.04 percentage points. These results are broadly in line with the elasticities usually reported in the literature. Our results show that low-skilled, females and the elderly are the groups that are particularly responsive to changes in taxes and transfers. Labour market policies aimed to boost employment should concentrate on increasing marginal gains to work, especially for low-educated individuals and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Zuzana Siebertova & Matus Senaj & Norbert Svarda & Jana Valachyova, 2014. "To Work or Not to Work? Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities," Working Papers Working Paper No. 1/2014, Council for Budget Responsibility.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbe:wpaper:201401

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results," Working Papers halshs-00805736, HAL.
    3. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
    4. Robert Breunig & Joseph Mercante, 2010. "The Accuracy of Predicted Wages of the Non-Employed and Implications for Policy Simulations from Structural Labour Supply Models," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(272), pages 49-70, March.
    5. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian & Peichl, Andreas, 2011. "Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5820, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Chase, R.S., 1995. "Women's Labor Force Participation During and After Communism: A Case Study of the Czech Republic and Slovakia," Papers 768, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Gábor Kátay & Péter Benczúr & Áron Kiss & Olivér M. Rácz, 2014. "Income Taxation, Transfers and Labour Supply at the Extensive Margin," EcoMod2014 6925, EcoMod.
    8. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-121, May.
    9. Alena Bièáková & Jiøí Slaèálek & Michal Slavík, 2011. "Labor Supply after Transition: Evidence from the Czech Republic," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 61(4), pages 327-347, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Norbert Švarda, 2015. "To Work or Not to Work? Updated Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities," Discussion Papers 32, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    2. Lucia Mýtna Kureková, 2015. "Policy Puzzles with Roma Employment in Slovakia," Discussion Papers 34, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    3. Miroslav Klucik, 2015. "Fiscal Adjustment in Slovakia: Findings from a Medium-Scale Econometric Model," Working Papers Working Paper No. 1/2015, Council for Budget Responsibility.

    More about this item


    labour supply elasticity; extensive margin; Heckman model; probit;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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