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Fiscalité et offre de travail : une étude expérimentale


  • Louis Lévy-Garboua
  • David Masclet
  • Claude Montmarquette


We make use of experimental economics to examine how people adjust their supply of work effort in response to a variation in tax rates. Participants are paired in the experiment. In each pair, one participant randomly chosen has to exert an effort and is taxed to the benefit of the other participant. The working subjects are confronted with four different tax rates (12%, 28%, 50% or 79%) and are asked to perform a number of real tasks. We ran four different treatments depending on volume of work (high or low) and whether the tax rate is chosen by the other subjects in the pairing or randomly chosen by the computer. We observe that the work supply decreases (increases) with a rise (decline) in tax rates. We find a strong disincentive effect of taxation, particularly when the tax rates are chosen by the tax receivers in the high volume of work treatment. Dans cet article, nous examinons à partir d'une étude expérimentale dans quelle mesure l'offre de travail des individus est influencée par des variations de taux de taxation. L'économie expérimentale permet la collecte dans un environnement contrôlé de données empiriques pertinentes et fiables afin d'identifier et évaluer l'importance de chaque motivation particulière dans la prise de décision des agents. Cette approche offre une alternative aux études économétriques sur la question de l'élasticité de l'offre de travail relativement aux taxes sur le revenu de travail où il est souvent difficile d'isoler l'effet des taxes des autres facteurs. Les résultats expérimentaux obtenus ne laissent aucun doute quant au rôle de la fiscalité sur l'offre de travail. Des taxes élevées incitent les individus à réduire leur offre de travail. Au plan de la dynamique, des variations positives (négatives) de taux diminuent (augmentent) leur offre de travail. Cette influence est particulièrement importante lorsque les taux de prélèvement sont hauts, que le volume de travail est élevé et que le niveau de taxation choisi est endogène dans le cadre d'une fiscalité où le bénéficiaire décide du taux.

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  • Louis Lévy-Garboua & David Masclet & Claude Montmarquette, 2005. "Fiscalité et offre de travail : une étude expérimentale," CIRANO Working Papers 2005s-23, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2005s-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sutter, Matthias & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 2003. "Taxation and the Veil of Ignorance--A Real Effort Experiment on the Laffer Curve," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 217-240, April.
    2. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    4. Joel Slemrod, 1996. "High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response," NBER Chapters,in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 169-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
    6. Swenson, Charles W., 1988. "Taxpayer behavior in response to taxation: An experimental analysis," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-28.
    7. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Responsibility and effort in an experimental labor market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 375-384, July.
    8. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    9. Sillamaa, M. A., 1999. "Taxpayer behavior in response to taxation: comment and new experimental evidence," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 165-177.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefania Ottone & Ferruccio Ponzano, 2011. "How people perceive the Welfare State: a real-effort experiment," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(2), pages 165-183, June.

    More about this item


    taxation and labor supply; experimental economics; taxation et offre de travail; économie expérimentale;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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