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Payroll Taxes, Wages and Employment: Identification through Policy Changes

  • Guillermo Cruces

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)

  • Sebastian Galiani

    (Washington University in Saint Louis - United States.)

  • Susana Kidyba

    (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC) - Argentina)

This paper investigates the effect of changes in payroll taxes on wages and employment in Argentina. The analysis, based on administrative data, focuses on the impact of a series of major changes in payroll taxes which varied across geographical areas. This setup offers two main advantages over previous studies. First, using longitudinal data, the variation in tax rates across space and time provides a plausible source of identification of their effects on employment and wages. Second, the use of legal tax rates for each area at each point in time provides a remedy for the measurement error bias raised by the use of empirical rates constructed from observed tax and wage bills. Once this bias is accounted for, the results indicate that changes in payroll tax rates are only partially shifted onto wages, and they point to the absence of any significant effect on employment.

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File URL: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/archivos_upload/doc_cedlas93.pdf
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Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0093.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0093
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  1. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in a Middle-Income Country: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 852, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1997. "The effects of firm specific taxes and government mandates with an application to the U.S. unemployment insurance program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 119-145, August.
  4. Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Payroll Taxes and Wage Inflation: The Swedish Experiences," Working Paper Series 68, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Sebastian Galiani & Pablo Gerchunoff, 2003. "The Labor Market," Working Papers 56, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Feb 2003.
  6. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  7. repec:fth:prinin:279 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Murphy, Kevin J., 2007. "The impact of unemployment insurance taxes on wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 457-484, June.
  9. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian & Kidyba, Susana, 2010. "Payroll taxes, wages and employment: Identification through policy changes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 743-749, August.
  10. Brittain, John A, 1971. "The Incidence of Social Security Payroll Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 110-25, March.
  11. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
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