IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/psewpa/hal-02876987.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?

Author

Listed:
  • Mathilde Munoz

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, WIL - World Inequality Lab)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of top earnings tax rates on the mobility of top ten percent employees within Europe. I use a novel detailed micro-level dataset on mobility built from the largest European survey (EU-LFS), representative of the entire population of 21 European countries. My estimation strategy exploits the differential effects of changes in top income tax rates on individuals of different propensities to be treated by these changes. I find that top ten percent workers' location choices are significantly affected by top income tax rates. I estimate a rather low but significant elasticity of the number of top earners with respect to net-of-tax rate that is between 0.1 and 0.3. The mobility response to taxes is especially strong for foreigners, with an estimated elasticity of the number of foreign top earners with respect to net-of-tax rate that is above one. Turning to tax policy implications, I uncover large heterogeneities within Europe, that translate into large differences in incentives to implement beggar-thy-neighbour policies across member states. These findings suggest that despite the overall moderate estimated mobility elasticity, tax competition entails substantial welfare costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," PSE Working Papers hal-02876987, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-02876987
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://pjse.hal.science/hal-02876987
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://pjse.hal.science/hal-02876987/document
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Landais, Camille & Kolsrud, Jonas & Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2017. "Studying Consumption Patterns using Registry Data: Lessons From Swedish Administrative Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 12402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Seade, J. K., 1977. "On the shape of optimal tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-235, April.
    3. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Mathilde Muñoz & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "Taxation and Migration: Evidence and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 119-142, Spring.
    4. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Camille Landais & Esben Schultz, 2014. "Migration and Wage Effects of Taxing Top Earners: Evidence from the Foreigners' Tax Scheme in Denmark," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 129(1), pages 333-378.
    5. Etienne Lehmann & Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2014. "Tax me if you can! Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax Between Competing Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1995-2030.
    6. David R. Agrawal & Dirk Foremny, 2019. "Relocation of the Rich: Migration in Response to Top Tax Rate Changes from Spanish Reforms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 214-232, May.
    7. PIASER, Gwenaël, 2003. "Labor mobility and income tax competition," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2003006, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2017. "The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1858-1903, July.
    9. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Camille Landais & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1892-1924, August.
    10. Peter Egger & Doina Radulescu & Nora Strecker, 2013. "Effective labor taxation and the international location of headquarters," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 631-652, August.
    11. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    12. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    13. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-196, Summer.
    14. Jon Bakija & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Do the Rich Flee from High State Taxes? Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-12, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    15. Ufuk Akcigit & Salomé Baslandze & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2016. "Taxation and the International Mobility of Inventors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2930-2981, October.
    16. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, 2014. "How Can Scandinavians Tax So Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 77-98, Fall.
    17. Jonathan Hamilton & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Optimal Income Taxation and the Ability Distribution: Implications for Migration Equilibria," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, January.
    18. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2023. "Taxing Billionaires: Estate Taxes and the Geographical Location of the Ultra-Wealthy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 424-466, May.
    19. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    20. Ufuk Akcigit & John Grigsby & Tom Nicholas & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2018. "Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 24982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:333-378 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Schmidheiny, Kurt & Slotwinski, Michaela, 2018. "Tax-induced mobility: Evidence from a foreigners' tax scheme in Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 293-324.
    23. Vilen Lipatov & Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2010. "Optimal Income Taxation with Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 3108, CESifo.
    24. Young, Cristobal & Varner, Charles, 2011. "Millionaire Migration and State Taxation of Top Incomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 255-283, June.
    25. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
    26. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    27. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen, 2014. "How can Scandinavians tax so much?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66111, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," Working Papers hal-02876987, HAL.
    2. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876987, HAL.
    3. Mathilde Muñoz, 2021. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," PSE Working Papers halshs-03252899, HAL.
    4. Mathilde Muñoz, 2021. "Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ?," Working Papers halshs-03252899, HAL.
    5. Martinez, Isabel Z., 2016. "Beggar-Thy-Neighbour Tax Cuts: Mobility after a Local Income and Wealth Tax Reform in Switzerland," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145643, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Etienne Lehmann & Laurent Simula & Alain Trannoy, 2014. "Tax me if you can! Optimal Nonlinear Income Tax Between Competing Governments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 129(4), pages 1995-2030.
    7. Martínez, Isabel Z., 2022. "Mobility responses to the establishment of a residential tax haven: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    8. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Mathilde Muñoz & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "Taxation and Migration: Evidence and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 119-142, Spring.
    9. López-Laborda Julio & Rodrigo Fernando, 2022. "Mobility of Top Income Taxpayers in Response to Regional Differences in Personal Taxes: Evidence from Spain," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 152-169, January.
    10. Fischer, Leonie & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Spengel, Christoph & Steinbrenner, Daniela, 2021. "Tax policies in a transition to a knowledge-based economy: The effective tax burden of companies and highly skilled labour," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-096, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Alejandro Esteller & Amedeo Piolatto & Matthew D. Rablen, 2016. "Taxing high-income earners: tax avoidance and mobility," IFS Working Papers W16/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    12. Engelmann, Dirk & Janeba, Eckhard & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2023. "Preferences over taxation of high-income individuals: Evidence from a survey experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    13. Agrawal David R. & Foremny Dirk, 2022. "Redistribution In A Globalized World," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 242(5-6), pages 551-567, December.
    14. David R. Agrawal & Dirk Foremny, 2019. "Relocation of the Rich: Migration in Response to Top Tax Rate Changes from Spanish Reforms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 214-232, May.
    15. Lisa Marie Timm & Massimo Giuliodori & Paul Muller, 2022. "Tax incentives for high skilled migrants: evidence from a preferential tax scheme in the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-068/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Enrico Rubolino & Tommaso Giommoni, 2023. "Taxation and Mobility: Evidence from Tax Decentralization in Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 10655, CESifo.
    17. Laurent Simula, 2013. "Tax Competition and Migration," 2013 Meeting Papers 1126, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. David R. Agrawal & Dirk Foremny & Clara Martínez-Toledano, 2020. ""Paraísos fiscales", wealth taxation, and mobility," Working Papers 2020/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Andreas Haufler & Yukihiro Nishimura, 2023. "Taxing mobile and overconfident top earners," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 30(4), pages 913-947, August.
    20. Áron Tóbiás, 2015. "Income Redistribution in Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5378, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Competition; Migration; Labour Taxation; taxation rate; migration; Europe; Top Incomes; migration elasticities; international taxation;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-02876987. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.