Why Is the Public Sector More Labor-Intensive? A Distortionary Tax Argument
Government-run entities are often more labor-intensive than private companies, even with identical production technologies. This need not imply slack in the public sector, but may be a rational response to its wage tax advantage over private firms. A tax-favored treatment of public production precludes production efficiency. It reduces welfare when labor supply is constant. With an elastic labor supply, a wage tax advantage of the public sector may improve welfare if it allows for a higher net wage. This would counteract the distortion of labor supply arising from wage taxation. Full privatization is never optimal if the labor supply elasticity is positive but small.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Journal of Economics, 2008, 94 (2), 105–124|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
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.:
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000.
"Redistributive Public Employment,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
- Easterly, William & Baqir, Reza & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Scholarly Articles 4553013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1998. "Redistributive Public Employment," NBER Working Papers 6746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- European Commission, 2006. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2006 edition," Taxation trends 2006, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
- European Commission, 2010. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2010 edition," Taxation trends 2010, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
- Andrei Shleifer, 1998.
"State versus Private Ownership,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
- Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1841, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kotsogiannis, Christos & Makris, Miltiadis, 2002. "On production efficiency in federal systems," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 281-287, July.
- Jesus Felipe & Franklin M. Fisher, 2003. "Aggregation in Production Functions: What Applied Economists should Know," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 208-262, 05.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1997.
"The Benefits of Privatization : Evidence from Mexico,"
World Bank Other Operational Studies
11583, The World Bank.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-De-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits Of Privatization: Evidence From Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242, November.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1997. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 6215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Rob, Rafael, 2001.
"Working in Public and Private Firms,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
- Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
- Paul H. Malatesta & Kathryn L. DeWenter, 2001. "State-Owned and Privately Owned Firms: An Empirical Analysis of Profitability, Leverage, and Labor Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 320-334, March.
- Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1972. "On Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 87-103, January.
- De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Productive efficiency in public and private firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 15-30, January.
- Gordon, Roger H. & Bai, Chong-En & Li, David D., 1999. "Efficiency losses from tax distortions vs. government control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1095-1103, April.
- Gordon, Roger H, 2001. "Taxes and Privatization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2977, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1413. 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: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.