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Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?

  • Edward C. Prescott

Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s, when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. This article examines the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries; in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of differences at points in time and the large change in relative labor supply over time.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000000413.

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Date of creation: 04 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000000413
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  1. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Garriga, Carlos, 2003. "Status Quo Problem In Social Security Reforms," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(05), pages 691-710, November.
  2. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
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  6. repec:cup:macdyn:v:7:y:2003:i:5:p:691-710 is not listed on IDEAS
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  8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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  10. Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 560, Stockholm School of Economics.
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  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-54, Sept./Oct.
  13. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle," Staff Report 280, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Finn E. Kydland & Carlos E.J.M. Zarazaga, 2001. "Argentina's lost decade," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0401, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  15. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  18. Finn E. Kydland & Carlos E. J. M. Zarazaga, 2002. "Online Appendix to Argentina's Lost Decade and the Subsequent Recovery Puzzle," Technical Appendices kydland02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  19. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
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