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Taxes and the Labor Market

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  • Tommaso Monacelli
  • Roberto Perotti
  • Antonella Trigari

Abstract

We estimate the effect of exogenous changes in taxes on the US unemployment rate and on several other labor market variables. Our estimates are based on a revised version of the Romer and Romer (2010) narrative record of exogenous tax innovations, with the additional benefit of distinguishing between capital income and labor income taxes. We first show that accounting for the difference between automatic and discretionary tax changes in the revised specification is crucial in order to obtain an unbiased measure of the tax multipliers. We then obtain the following main results. An increase in tax receipts of one percent of GDP has a sizeable positive impact on the unemployment rate, and a negative impact on hours worked, labor market tightness and job finding probability. The effect on GDP is also sizeable, but somewhat in the mid range of other values found in the literature, due to the fact that we account for the difference between discretionary and automatic changes in tax revenues. The effect on the unemployment rate of variations in business taxes is larger than that of personal income taxes. We suggest that the latter result poses interesting challenges for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti & Antonella Trigari, 2011. "Taxes and the Labor Market," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 623, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:nbr:nberch:13348 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Roberto Perotti, 2008. "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 169-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:nbr:nberch:13350 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roberto Perotti, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Economics Working Papers 015, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
    5. Carlo A. Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2010. "Reconciling VAR-based and Narrative Measures of the Tax-Multiplier," Working Papers 361, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-181, May.
    7. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2011. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 27-54, January.
    8. Florin O. Bilbiie & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2008. "What Accounts for the Changes in U.S. Fiscal Policy Transmission?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1439-1470, October.
    9. Roberto Perotti, 2010. "The Effects of Tax Shocks on Output: Not So Large, But Not Small Either," NBER Chapters,in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), Fiscal Policy, pages 214-237 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
    11. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, March.
    12. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
    13. Ryan Chahrour & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "A Model-Based Evaluation of the Debate on the Size of the Tax Multiplier," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 28-45, May.
    14. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    15. Perotti, Roberto, 2002. "Estimating the effects of fiscal policy in OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0168, European Central Bank.
    16. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects From Government Purchases and Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 51-102.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2013. "The Dynamic Effects of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Changes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1212-1247, June.

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