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Labour tax progressivity and output volatility: evidence from OECD countries

  • Attinasi, Maria-Grazia
  • Checherita-Westphal, Cristina
  • Rieth, Malte

This paper investigates empirically the effect of personal income tax progressivity on output volatility in a sample of OECD countries over the period 1982-2009. Our measure of tax progressivity is based on the difference between the marginal and the average income tax rate for the average production worker. We find supportive empirical evidence for the hypothesis that higher personal income tax progressivity leads to lower output volatility. All other factors constant, countries with more progressive personal income tax systems seem to benefit from stronger automatic stabilisers. JEL Classification: E63, E32, H10

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1380.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111380
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  1. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Colombo, Emilio & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2011. "Macroeconomic risk and the (de)stabilising role of government size," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 781-790.
  2. Xavier Debrun & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Andr� Sapir, 2008. "Government size and output volatility: should we forsake automatic stabilization?," European Economy - Economic Papers 316, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Olaf Posch, 2009. "Explaining Output Volatility: The Case of Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2751, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Luc Laeven & Fabian Valencia, 2010. "Resolution of Banking Crises; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," IMF Working Papers 10/146, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 7662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
  7. Thiess Buettner & Clemens Fuest, 2009. "The Role of the Corporate Income Tax as an Automatic Stabilizer," CESifo Working Paper Series 2798, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
  9. Li Wenli & Pierre -Daniel Sarte, 2004. "Progressive Taxation and Long-Run Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1705-1716, December.
  10. Moldovan, Ioana R., 2010. "Countercyclical taxes in a monopolistically competitive environment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 692-717, July.
  11. Åsa Johansson & Chistopher Heady & Jens Arnold & Bert Brys & Laura Vartia, 2008. "Taxation and Economic Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 620, OECD Publishing.
  12. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Gerhard Reitschuler & Maria Antoinette Silgoner, 2009. "On the effectiveness and limits of fiscal stabilizers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(9), pages 1079-1086.
  13. Xavier Debrun & Radhicka Kapoor, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Stability; Automatic Stabilizers Work, Always and Everywhere," IMF Working Papers 10/111, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Jens Arnold, 2008. "Do Tax Structures Affect Aggregate Economic Growth?: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 643, OECD Publishing.
  15. Carlos Martinez-Mongay & Khalid Sekkat, 2005. "Progressive Taxation, Macroeconomic Stabilization and efficiency in Europe," European Economy - Economic Papers 233, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  16. Carlo Cottarelli & Annalisa Fedelino, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and the Size of Government; Correcting a Common Misunderstanding," IMF Working Papers 10/155, International Monetary Fund.
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