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Tax Policy and Labor Market Performance

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  • Lans Bovenberg

Abstract

In exploring the impact of tax policy on labor-market performance, the paper first investigates how tax reform impacts labor supply and equilibrium unemployment in representative agent models. The impact of tax policy on labor market performance depends importantly on various other labor-market institutions, such as minimum wage laws, wage bargaining, and unemployment benefits. In non-competitive labor markets, employment declines if a higher tax burden makes the outside option (i.e. unemployment) relatively more attractive. Marginal tax rates typically differ substantially across individuals. To explore the impact of specific tax policies, therefore, the paper relies on an applied general equilibrium model to investigate the consequences of tax reform with heterogeneous households. The model simulations reveal several trade-offs between various objectives, such as cutting unemployment, stimulating the participation of secondary workers into the labor force, raising the quality and quantity of labor supply, and establishing an equitable income distribution. The paper also analyses how efficiency considerations affect the optimal progressiveness of labor income taxes. Finally, the optimal progression of the labor income tax is investigated in the presence of search unemployment, heterogeneous households and distributional concerns.

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  • Lans Bovenberg, 2003. "Tax Policy and Labor Market Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 1035, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1035
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    3. Holmlund, Bertil & Söderström, Martin, 2007. "Estimating Income Responses to Tax Changes: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3088, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Andreas PEICHL, 2008. "The Benefits of Linking CGE and Microsimulation Models - Evidence from a Flat Tax analysis," EcoMod2008 23800106, EcoMod.
    5. Palić Irena & Hodžić Sabina & Dumičić Ksenija, 2019. "Personal Income Taxation Determinants in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 10(1), pages 153-163, April.
    6. Holmlund Bertil & Söderström Martin, 2011. "Estimating Dynamic Income Responses to Tax Reform," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-38, November.
    7. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2004. "The Welfare State, Redistribution and the Economy, Reciprocal Altruism, Consumer Rivalry and Second Best," CESifo Working Paper Series 1234, CESifo.
    8. Holmlund, Bertil & Söderström, Martin, 2008. "Estimating dynamic income responses to tax reforms: Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2008:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    9. Michael T. Feil, 2006. "Funding public health care: A flat-rate premium might be bad for employment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(3), pages 1-10.

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