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Optimum Income Taxation and Layoff Taxes

  • Cahuc, Pierre
  • Zylberberg, Andre

This paper analyses optimum income taxation in a model with endogenous job destruction that gives rise to unemployment. It is shown that optimal tax schemes comprise both payroll and layoff taxes when the state provides public unemployment insurance and aims at redistributing income. The optimal layoff tax is equal to the social cost of job destruction, which amounts to the discounted value of the sum of unemployment benefits (that the state pays to unemployed workers) and payroll taxes (that the state does not get when workers are unemployed). Our quantitative analysis suggests that the introduction of layoff taxes, that are usually absent from actual tax schemes, could lead to significant increases in employment and GDP.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5170.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5170
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  1. Cahuc, Pierre & Malherbet, Franck, 2002. "Unemployment Compensation Finance and Labour Market Rigidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "The Costs of Hiring and Separations," NBER Working Papers 6110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-159, May.
  4. Chone, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2005. "Optimal incentives for labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 395-425, February.
  5. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  6. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles, 2006. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 766, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Optimal Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection. A First Pass," NBER Working Papers 10443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  10. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-96, December.
  12. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  13. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1993. "Unemployment Insurance in the United States: Layoff Incentives and Cross Subsidies," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages S70-95, January.
  14. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  15. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-57, October.
  16. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2000. "The effects of the unemployment insurance payroll tax on wages, employment, claims and denials," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 81-106, October.
  18. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Optimal firm size, taxes, and unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 275-287, August.
  19. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, 1997. "Taxes and employment subsidies in an optimal redistribution program," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9709, CEPREMAP.
  20. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, 03.
  21. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
  22. W. Henry Chiu & Edi Karni, 1998. "Endogenous Adverse Selection and Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 806-827, August.
  23. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, June.
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