IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Beyond the Labour Income Tax Wedge: The Unemployment-Reducing Effect of Tax Progressivity

  • Etienne LEHMANN

    ()

    (CRED (TEPP) University Panth eon-Assas Paris 2 and CREST, UCL-IRES, IDEP, IZA and CESifo)

  • Claudio LUCIFORA

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano and IZA)

  • Simone MORICONI

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano and Univerity of Luxembourg, CREA)

  • Bruno VAN DER LINDEN

    ()

    (FNRS and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

This paper argues that, for a given overall level of labour income taxation, a more progressive tax schedule reduces the unemployment rate and increases the employment rate. From a theoretical point of view, higher progressivity induces a wage-moderation effect and increases overall employment since employment of low-paid workers is more responsive. We test these theoretical predictions on a panel of 21 OECD countries over 1998-2008. Controlling for the burden of taxation at the average wage, we show that a more progressive taxation reduces the unemployment rate and increases the employment rate. These findings are confirmed when we account for the potential endogeneity of both average taxation and progressivity. Overall our results suggest that policy-makers should not only focus on the detrimental effects of tax progressivity on in-work effort.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2013018.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2013018.

as
in new window

Length: 35
Date of creation: 15 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013018
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

Fax: +32 10473945
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/ires
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Marc Sangnier, 2011. "Efficient and Inefficient Welfare States," Sciences Po publications 5445, Sciences Po.
  2. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2006. "Civic Attitudes and the Design of Labour Market Institutions: Which Countries Can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," Sciences Po publications 5489, Sciences Po.
  3. Mathieu Bunel & Yannick L'Horty, 2012. "The Effects of Reduced Social Security Contributions on Employment: An Evaluation of the 2003 French Reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 371-398, 09.
  4. Ben Lockwood & Alan Manning, 1993. "Wage Setting and the Tax System: theory and Evidence for the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0115, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8811 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Hansen, Claus Thustrup & Pedersen, Lars Haagen & Slok, Torsten, 2000. "Ambiguous effects of tax progressivity -- theory and Danish evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 335-347, May.
  7. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Understanding Trust," NBER Working Papers 13387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W29, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Lawrence Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1993. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 385-411.
  10. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
  11. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, June.
  13. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
  17. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Marc Sangnier, 2014. "Trust and the Welfare State: The Twin Peaks Curve," AMSE Working Papers 1424, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Jun 2014.
  18. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 28, OECD Publishing.
  19. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  20. Alexis, PARMENTIER, 2006. "The effects of the marginal tax rate in a matching model with endogenous labor supply," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006011, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  21. Alfonso Arpaia & Gilles Mourre, 2012. "Institutions And Performance In European Labour Markets: Taking A Fresh Look At Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-41, 02.
  22. Cloyne, James S, 2010. "Discretionary tax shocks in the United Kingdom 1945-2009: a narrative account and dataset," MPRA Paper 34913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal Stabilizations: When Do They Work and Why," Scholarly Articles 2580047, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 2000. "A dynamic heterogeneous labour demand model for German manufacturing," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  25. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  26. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  27. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families," Working Papers 1307, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  28. Eichhorst, Werner & Feil, Michael & Marx, Paul, 2010. "Crisis, What Crisis? Patterns of Adaptation in European Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5045, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/30, European University Institute.
  30. 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.
  31. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2000. "Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work," Munich Reprints in Economics 20296, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  32. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  33. Etienne, LEHMANN & Alexis, PARMENTIER & Bruno, VAN DER LINDEN, 2008. "Optimal income taxation with endogenous participation and search unemployment," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008036, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  34. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
  35. Hansen, Claus Thustrup, 1999. " Lower Tax Progression, Longer Hours and Higher Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 49-65, March.
  36. Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Macartney, Gareth, 2006. "Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 235-259, 04.
  38. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2013. "Progressive taxation and tax morale," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 293-316, June.
  39. Alan Manning, 1992. "Wage Bargaining and the Phillips Curve: The Identification and Specification of Aggregate Wage Equations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0062, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  40. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  41. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2009. "Unemployment, institutions and reform complementarities: Re-assessing the aggregate evidence for OECD countries," Post-Print halshs-00395144, HAL.
  42. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1985. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 121-133.
  43. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  44. Davide Tondani & Patrizia Mancini, 2005. "Gli effetti redistributivi delle riforme dell'imposizione personale nella XIV Legislatura," Public Economics 0507010, EconWPA.
  45. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, July.
  46. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Andrea Pescatori & Daniel Leigh & Jaime Guajardo & Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 11/128, International Monetary Fund.
  48. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  49. Hersoug, Tor, 1984. "Union Wage Responses to Tax Changes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 37-51, March.
  50. repec:oup:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:3:p:743-767 is not listed on IDEAS
  51. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2002. "Public employment and labor market performances," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00256207, HAL.
  52. Giorgio Brunello & Daniela Sonedda, 2006. "Progressive Taxation and Wage Setting when Unions Strategically Interact," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0017, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  53. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  54. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Impact of Differential Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  55. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  56. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
  57. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
  58. Etienne Lehmann & François Marical & Laurence Rioux, 2012. "Labor Income Responds Differently to Income-Tax and Payroll-Tax Reforms," Working Papers 2012-24, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  59. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
  60. Hungerbühler, Mathias & Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2005. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Search Equilibrium Model," IZA Discussion Papers 1460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  61. Stéphanie Guichard & Mike Kennedy & Eckhard Wurzel & Christophe André, 2007. "What Promotes Fiscal Consolidation: OECD Country Experiences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 553, OECD Publishing.
  62. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.S., 1995. "Progressive Taxation, Wage Setting and Unemployment - Theory and Swedish Evidence," Papers 15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  63. Roed, Knut & Strom, Steinar, 2002. " Progressive Taxes and the Labour Market: Is the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-110, February.
  64. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal stabilizations: When do they work and why," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1047-1074, October.
  65. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  66. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
  67. R. A. Musgrave & Tun Thin, 1948. "Income Tax Progression, 1929-48," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 498.
  68. Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
  69. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
  70. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  71. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.