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Minimum Wage and Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence

  • Mirco Tonin


    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

The paper investigates the role of the minimum wage in a competi- tive economy in which there is underreporting of earnings by employed labour. The minimum wage induces higher compliance by some low- productivity workers and transforms a nominally neutral .scal system into a regressive one. A spike in the wage distribution at the mini- mum wage level appears and a positive correlation between the size of the spike and the size of the informal economy is predicted and documented using cross-country data for Europe. A further result is that employees whose officially declared earnings appear to be boosted by a minimum wage hike actually experience a decline in their true income. This prediction finds support in an empirical test using the massive increase in the minimum wage that took place in Hungary in 2001 as a quasi-natural experiment.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0701.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0701
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