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Optimal Taxation and Monopsonistic Labour Market: Does Monopsony Justify the Minimum Wage?

  • Cahuc, Pierre
  • Laroque, Guy

We analyze optimal taxation in an economy with monopsonistic labour markets. The individuals, whose only decisions are whether to work, or not, have heterogeneous productivities and opportunity costs of work. Given its preferences for redistribution, the government, which does not observe the opportunity costs of work, chooses a tax scheme implementing the second best allocation. We compare the optima in the competitive and monopsonistic environments. We find that the government can always implement the second best allocation of the competitive economy in the monopsonistic environment. The optimal tax schedule comprises employment subsidies financed by taxes on profits. In this setup, there is no room for a minimum wage.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6416.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6416
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  1. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff, 1999. "A Minimum Wage Can Be Welfare-Improving and Employment-Enhancing," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 72, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  2. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1987. "Minimum wage legislation as a second best policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 490-498.
  3. Flinn, Christopher, 2003. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search with Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Herwig Immervoll, 2007. "Minimum Wages, Minimum Labour Costs and the Tax Treatment of Low-Wage Employment," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 46, OECD Publishing.
  6. Masters, Adrian M, 1999. "Wage Posting in Two-Sided Search and the Minimum Wage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 809-26, November.
  7. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles, 2004. "Taxes And Employment Subsidies In Optimal Redistribution Programs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 708, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:3:p:1039-1073 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Juan J. Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Juan F. Jimeno, 2000. "The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 223-245, September.
  10. Cahuc, P. & Saint-Martin, A. & Zylberberg, A., 2001. "The consequences of the minimum wage when other wages are bargained over," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 337-352, February.
  11. Hungerbühler, Mathias & Lehmann, Etienne, 2009. "On the optimality of a minimum wage: New insights from optimal tax theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 464-481, April.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:102:y:1987:i:3:p:477-89 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  14. James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991. "The Consequences of Minimum Wage Laws: Some New Theoretical Ideas," NBER Working Papers 3877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:oup:restud:v:38:y:1971:i:114:p:175-208 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Philippe Choné & Guy Laroque, 2006. "Should Low Skilled Work be Subsidized ?," Working Papers 2006-08, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  17. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, 03.
  18. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  19. Philippe Chone & Guy Laroque, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Labor Force Participation," Working Papers 2001-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Drazen, Allan, 1986. "Optimal Minimum Wage Legislation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 774-84, September.
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:4:p:1111-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, 1997. "Taxes and employment subsidies in an optimal redistribution program," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9709, CEPREMAP.
  23. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
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