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Labour supply, search and taxes

  • Alan Manning

Classical labour supply theory is one of the most sophisticated parts of labour economics. Yet, there is no compelling theoretical reason to believe in an outcome on a classical labour supply curve and it is unclear whether it is a good empirical description of the way in which labour markets actually work. This paper uses the techniques of search theory to analyse the impact of changes in the tax system on incentives to work when individuals do not have flexibility of hours within jobs. It is shown how the traditional comparative statics are of some use but are rarely the whole story and some comparative statics results are surprising. For example, it is shown how a revenue-neutral increase in marginal tax rates will increase incentives to work.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20202/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20202.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20202
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. John C. Ham, 1980. "Estimation of a Labour Supply Model with Censoring Due to Unemployment and Underemployment," Working Papers 521, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1983. "Efficiency Aspects of the Financing of Unemployment Insurance and Other Government Expenditure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 57-69, January.
  4. David Card, 1990. "Labor Supply with a Minimum Hours Threshold," Working Papers 642, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1997. "The Impact of Employment Tax Cuts on Unemployment and Wages: The Role of Unemployment Benefits and Tax Structure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1998. "Unemployment, discouraged workers and female labour supply," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 103-131, June.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  8. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  9. Burdett, Kenneth, et al, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 559-78, October.
  10. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  11. Narendranathan, Wiji, 1993. "Job Search in a Dynamic Environment--An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  12. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  13. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J, 1995. "Welfare States and Unemployment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 143-60, June.
  14. Stewart, M.B. & Swaffield, J.K., 1996. "Constraints on the Desired Hours of Work of British Men," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 468, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. Narendranathan, Wiji & Nickell, Stephen, 1985. "Modelling the process of job search," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 29-49, April.
  16. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1995. "The Swedish unemployment experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 1043-1070, May.
  17. Joseph G. Altonji & Christina H. Paxson, 1992. "Labor Supply, Hours Constraints, and Job Mobility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 256-278.
  18. Blundell, Richard William & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  20. 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.
  21. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
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