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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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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, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  2. Koskela , Erkki, 2001. "Labour taxation and employment in trade union models: A partial survey," Research Discussion Papers 19/2001, Bank of Finland.
  3. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Papers 2001-W29, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Belot, Michele & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, December.
  17. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-39, December.
  18. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  19. Christopher Heady, 2003. "The "Taxing Wages" Approach to Measuring the Tax Burden on Labour," CESifo Working Paper Series 967, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. 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.
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