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The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure

  • Christopher Pissarides

I model and simulate the effects of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages in four equilibrium models: competitive, union bargaining, search and efficiency wages. I find that if the ratio of unemployment compensation to wages is fixed, the effect of the tax cut is mainly on wages. But if income out of work is fixed in real terms, there are substantial employment effects. When wages are determined by bargaining, revenue-neutral reforms that make the tax more progressive also reduce unemployment. Thus, policy towards unemployment compensation and tax structure are key influences on the effect of taxes on unemployment.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2332/
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 2332.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Aug 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:2332
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  1. Bovenberg, A.L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Consequences of environmental tax reform for involuntary unemployment and welfare," Discussion Paper 1994-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. 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.
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  6. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  9. Zabalza, A. & Pissarides, C. & Barton, M., 1980. "Social security and the choice between full-time work, part-time work and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 245-276, October.
  10. Layard, R. & Nickell, S., 1991. "Unemployment in the OECD Countries," Economics Series Working Papers 99130, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Dertouzos, James N & Pencavel, John H, 1981. "Wage and Employment Determination under Trade Unionism: The International Typographical Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1162-81, December.
  12. Layard, Richard, 1982. "Is Incomes Policy the Answer to Unemployment?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 219-39, August.
  13. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  14. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  15. Timo Tyrväinen, 1995. "Real Wage Resistance and Unemployment: Multivariate Analysis of Cointegrating Relations in 10 OECD Countries," OECD Jobs Study Working Papers 10, OECD Publishing.
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