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Marginal Taxes: A Good or a Bad for Wages?: The Incidence of the Structure of Income and Labor Taxes on Wages

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  • Pia Rattenhuber

Abstract

Empirical evidence so far found ambiguous results for the direction of effect of marginal income tax rates on employee remuneration. Based on the GSOEP data from 2002 through 2008 this study analyzes the impact of the marginal tax load on the employee side on the wage rate also allowing average tax rates and employer payroll taxes to play a role. Instrumental variable estimation based on counterfactual tax rates simulated in a highly detailed microsimulation model (STSM) heals the endogeneity problem of the tax variables with regard to wages. Estimations in first differences show that marginal taxes overall have a negative impact on wages. But this effect is not uniform along the wage distribution; while the negative effect of marginal tax rates prevails in the lower part of the distribution, observations beyond the median benefit from higher tax rates at the margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Pia Rattenhuber, 2012. "Marginal Taxes: A Good or a Bad for Wages?: The Incidence of the Structure of Income and Labor Taxes on Wages," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1193, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1193
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    Keywords

    Marginal tax rates; tax structure; simulated instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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