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Tax Progression under Collective Wage Bargaining and Individual Effort Determination


  • Erkki Koskela
  • Ronnie Schöb


We study the impact of tax policy on wage negotiations, workers’ effort, employment, output and welfare when workers’ effort is only imperfectly observable. We show that the different wage-setting motives – rent sharing and effort incentives – reinforce the effects of partial tax policy measures but not necessarily those of more fundamental tax reforms. Although a higher degree of tax progression always leads to wage moderation, the well-established result from the wage bargaining literature that a revenue-neutral increase in the degree of tax progression is good for employment does not carry over to the case with wage negotiations and imperfectly observable effort. While it remains true that introducing tax progression increases employment and output, we cannot rule out negative effects from an increase in tax progression when tax progression is already very high. Welfare effects are ambiguous a priori but we derive sufficient conditions for welfare improving revenue-neutral increases in tax progression.

Suggested Citation

  • Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 2007. "Tax Progression under Collective Wage Bargaining and Individual Effort Determination," CESifo Working Paper Series 2024, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Does the composition of wage and payroll taxes matter under Nash bargaining?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 343-349, September.
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    4. Bulkley, George & Myles, Gareth D, 1996. "Trade Unions, Efficiency Wages, and Shirking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 75-88, January.
    5. Koskela, Erkki & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1996. "Tax progression is good for employment in popular models of trade union behaviour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-80, August.
    6. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 2002. " Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 387-404.
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    9. José Ramón García & José Vicente Ríos, 2004. "Effects Of Tax Reforms In A Shirking Model With Union Bargaining," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-42, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    10. Benjamin Bental & Dominique Demougin, 2006. "Institutions, Bargaining Power and Labor Shares," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    11. Andersen, Torben M. & Sandemann Rasmussen, Bo, 1999. "Effort, taxation and unemployment1," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 97-103, January.
    12. Goerke, Laszlo, 1999. "Efficiency Wages and Taxes," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 131-142, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boeters, Stefan, 2011. "Optimal tax progressivity in unionised labour markets: What are the driving forces?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2282-2295, September.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6913 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    wage bargaining; effort determination; tax progression;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence


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