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How to Measure the Tax Burden on Labour at the Macro-Level?

  • Jan-Egbert Sturm
  • Bjørn Volkerink

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we survey the way in which the tax burden on labour has been proxied for in recent multi-country macro-economic studies. Second, we critically evaluate these proxies. Finally, we examine to what extent the conclusions of some studies change if some alternative indicator for the tax burden on labour is employed. We conclude that the widely used tax ratios as developed by Mendoza et al. (1994) may not be very reliable. The choice of the indicator for the tax burden on labour is also shown to affect the conclusions of some well-known empirical models.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-06/cesifo_wp963.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 963.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_963
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  1. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  2. repec:dgr:kubcen:200150 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-39, December.
  4. Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
  5. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  6. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions : An Empirical Analysis," Discussion Paper 2001-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Thomas I. Palley, . "The Role of Institutions and Policies in Creating High European Unemployment: The Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_336, Levy Economics Institute.
  9. Asea, Patrick & Mendoza, Enrique G & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1996. "On the Ineffectiveness of Tax Policy in Altering Long- Run Growth: Harberger's Superneutrality Conjecture," CEPR Discussion Papers 1378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-89213 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Francesco Daveri, 2002. "Labor Taxes and Unemployment: a Survey of the Aggregate Evidence," CeRP Working Papers 18, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  12. Belot, M.V.K. & van Ours, J.C., 2001. "Unemployment and labor market institutions : An empirical analysis," Other publications TiSEM 29a3de46-e7bc-4b3d-abe5-b, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Papers 2001-W29, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  15. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  16. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Fiorito, Riccardo & Padrini, Flavio, 2001. " Distortionary Taxation and Labour Market Performance," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 173-96, May.
  18. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  19. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  20. Willem Adema & Marcel Einerhand & Bengt Eklind & Jorgen Lotz & Mark Pearson, 1996. "Net Public Social Expenditure," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 19, OECD Publishing.
  21. Koskela , Erkki, 2001. "Labour taxation and employment in trade union models: A partial survey," Research Discussion Papers 19/2001, Bank of Finland.
  22. Christopher Heady, 2003. "The "Taxing Wages" Approach to Measuring the Tax Burden on Labour," CESifo Working Paper Series 967, CESifo Group Munich.
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