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Earned income tax credits, unemployment benefits and wages: empirical evidence from Sweden

  • Bennmarker, Helge


    (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)

  • Calmfors, Lars


    (Institute for International Economics Study, Stockholm University)

  • Larsson Seim, Anna


    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Although there is a large literature on employment effects of earned income tax credits (EITCs) and unemployment benefits, less is known about wage effects. In our model the impact is via the net (after-tax) replacement rate. Using a panel of individuals from Sweden, we find a positive relationship between the net replacement rate and wages with semi-elasticities in the range 0.2-0.4. This implies that a one percent reduction in the unemployment benefit level or a one percent increase in the net-of-tax rate is associated with a fall in the before-tax wage of 0.1-0.2 per cent. EITCs and unemployment benefit reductions are thus likely to induce wage moderation.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2013:12.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 10 May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Bennmarker, Helge, Lars Calmfors and Anna Larsson Seim, 'Earned income tax credits, unemployment benefits and wages: empirical evidence from Sweden' in IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2014, pages 1-20.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2013_012
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  1. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Tonin, Mirco, 2006. "In-Work Benefits in Search Equilibrium," Research Papers in Economics 2006:12, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984. "Unemployment insurance and reservation wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
  3. Bloemen, Hans G & Stancanelli, Elena G F, 2001. "Individual Wealth, Reservation Wages, and Transitions into Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 400-439, April.
  4. Anders Forslund & Nils Gottfries & Andreas Westermark, 2008. "Prices, Productivity and Wage Bargaining in Open Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 169-195, 03.
  5. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2009. "Unemployment, institutions, and reform complementarities: re-assessing the aggregate evidence for OECD countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 40-59, Spring.
  6. Herwig Immervoll & Mark Pearson, 2009. "A Good Time for Making Work Pay? Taking Stock of In-Work Benefits and Related Measures across the OECD," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 81, OECD Publishing.
  7. Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "Who Benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit? Incidence among Recipients, Coworkers and Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 4960, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. repec:pri:cepsud:165rothstein is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Edmark, Karin & Liang, Che-Yuan & Selin, Håkan & Mörk, Eva, 2012. "Evaluation of the Swedish earned income tax credit," Working Paper Series 2012:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  10. van den Berg, G., 1987. "Nonstationarity in job search theory," Research Memorandum c2b931bf-9cce-4bae-929c-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  11. Lynch, Lisa M, 1983. "Job Search and Youth Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(0), pages 271-82, Supplemen.
  12. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Is the EITC as Good as an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 177-208, February.
  13. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
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