IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Labor supply elasticities in Europe and the US

  • Bargain, Olivier
  • Orsini, Kristian
  • Peichl, Andreas

Despite numerous studies on labor supply, the size of elasticities is rarely comparable across countries. In this paper, we suggest the first large-scale international comparison of elasticities, while netting out possible differences due to methods, data selection and the period of investigation. We rely on comparable data for 17 European countries and the US, a common empirical approach and a complete simulation of tax-benefit policies affecting household budgets. We find that wage-elasticities are small and vary less across countries than previously thought, e.g., between .2 and .6 for married women. Results are robust to several modelling assumptions. We show that differences in tax-benefit systems or demographic compositions explain little of the cross-country variation, leaving room for other interpretations, notably in terms of heterogeneous work preferences. We derive important implications for research on optimal taxation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/euromod/em1-11.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series EUROMOD Working Papers with number EM1/11.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 08 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em1-11
Contact details of provider: Postal:
RAB Butler Building, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, ESSEX C04 3SQ

Phone: +44 (0)1206 872957
Fax: +44 (0)1206 873151
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/euromod/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Flood, Lennart & Hansen, Jörgen & Wahlberg, Roger, 2003. "Household Labor Supply and Welfare Participation in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Nada Eissa, 1995. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. José M. Labeaga & Xisco Oliver & Amadéo Spadaro, 2008. "Discrete choice models of labour supply, behavioural microsimulation and the Spanish tax reforms," Post-Print halshs-00754269, HAL.
  5. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:63:y:2009:i:1:p:146 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Changes in Relative Wages and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  7. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  8. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "In-work policies in Europe: Killing two birds with one stone?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 667-697, December.
  9. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  10. Helene Dearing & Helmut Hofer & Christine Lietz & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Why are mothers working longer hours in Austria than in Germany? A comparative micro simulation analysis," Economics working papers 2007-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  11. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:4:p:431-446 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Verdelin, Nicolaj, 2009. "An Evaluation of the Tax-Transfer Treatment of Married Couples in European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 3965, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Kristian Orsini, 2006. "Tax-benefits reforms and the labor market: evidence from Belgium and other EU countries," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0606, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  14. Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Accounting for labor demand effects in structural labor supply models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 129-138.
  15. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 697-734, December.
  16. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  17. Bradley T. Heim, 2009. "Structural Estimation of Family Labor Supply with Taxes: Estimating a Continuous Hours Model Using a Direct Utility Specification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  18. Bas Jacobs, 2009. "Is Prescott right? Welfare state policies and the incentives to work, learn, and retire," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 253-280, April.
  19. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
  20. Bradley T. Heim, 2007. "The Incredible Shrinking Elasticities: Married Female Labor Supply, 1978–2002," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  21. Bargain, Olivier & Caliendo, Marco & Haan, Peter & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "'Making Work Pay' in a Rationed Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2033, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Ugo Colombino & Steinar Strøm & Rolf Aaberge, 2000. "Labor supply responses and welfare effects from replacing current tax rules by a flat tax: Empirical evidence from Italy, Norway and Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 595-621.
  23. 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.
  24. Mark N. Harris & Alan Duncan, 2002. "Intransigencies in the Labour Supply Choice," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n17, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  25. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
  26. Philippe Choné & David le Blanc & Isabelle Robert-Bobée, 2003. "Female Labor Supply and Child Care in France," CESifo Working Paper Series 1059, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Tim Callan & Arthur van Soest & John R. Walsh, 2009. "Tax Structure and Female Labour Supply: Evidence from Ireland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 1-35, 03.
  29. A. Lans Bovenberg & Johan J. Graafland & Ruud A. de Mooij, 1998. "Tax Reform and the Dutch Labor Market: An Applied General Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 6693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Anna Brink & Katarina Nordblom & Roger Wahlberg, 2007. "Maximum fee versus child benefit: a welfare analysis of Swedish child-care fee reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 457-480, August.
  31. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
  32. François Bourguignon & Thierry Magnac, 1990. "Labor Supply and Taxation in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 358-389.
  33. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  34. Pierre‐Carl Michaud & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2011. "Fertility and female employment dynamics in Europe: the effect of using alternative econometric modeling assumptions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 641-668, 06.
  35. repec:pse:psecon:2005-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
  37. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  38. Michiel Evers & Ruud Mooij & Daniel Vuuren, 2008. "The Wage Elasticity of Labour Supply: A Synthesis of Empirical Estimates," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
  39. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
  40. 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.
  41. Nina Smith & Shirley Dex & Jan Dirk Vlasblom & Tim Callan, 2003. "The effects of taxation on married women's labour supply across four countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 417-439, July.
  42. N. S. Blomquist & U. Hansson-Brusewitz, 1990. "The Effect of Taxes on Male and Female Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 317-357.
  43. 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.
  44. José M. Labeaga, Xisco Oliver & Xisco Oliver & Amedeo Spadaro, . "Discrete choice models of labour Supply, behavioural microsimulation and the Spanish tax reforms," Working Papers 2005-14, FEDEA.
  45. Heim, Bradley T. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2004. "Work costs and nonconvex preferences in the estimation of labor supply models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2323-2338, September.
  46. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
  47. Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Peter Haan & Andrew Shephard, 2009. "Optimal Income Taxation of Lone Mothers: An Empirical Comparison of the UK and Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages F101-F121, 02.
  48. Laura Crespo, 2005. "Estimation And Testing Of Household Labour Supply Models: Evidence From Spain," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  49. Jaume García & María José Suárez, 2003. "Female labour supply and income taxation in Spain: The importance of behavioural assumptions and unobserved heterogeneity specification," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 164(1), pages 9-27, march.
  50. Iván Fernández Val, 2003. "Household labor supply: evidence for Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 27(2), pages 239-275, May.
  51. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-90-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  52. Aaberge, Rolf & Dagsvik, John K & Strom, Steinar, 1995. " Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Effects of Tax Reforms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 635-59, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em1-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paul Groves)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.