IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Tax System Incidence on Unemployment: A Country-Specific Analysis for the OECD Economies

  • García, José Ramón


    (Universidad de Valencia)

  • Sala, Hector


    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

This paper provides a detailed analysis on the incidence of the tax structure on the labor market. To do so it goes beyond the traditional examination of the ‘level’ effect of the fiscal wedge and considers a ‘composition’ effect defined as a payroll tax bias (PTB): the proportion of payroll taxes paid by employees with respect to the one paid by firms. We develop a right-to-manage model encompassing different wage bargaining systems and the incidence of different type of taxes. Controlling for demand-side and supply-side determinants of unemployment, we show that the PTB plays a significant role in explaining unemployment in the continental European countries, but not in the Nordic nor the Anglo-Saxon ones. We also show that there is no relationship between the incidence of the PTB and unemployment persistence, even though there is a positive one with respect to the level of the fiscal wedge.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2226.

in new window

Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Modelling, 2008, 25 (6), 1232-1245
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2226
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Raurich, Xavier & Sala, Hector & Sorolla, Valeri, 2004. "Unemployment, Growth and Fiscal Policy: New Insights on the Hysteresis Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 1127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
  4. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Joan Muysken & Tom Van Veen & Erik De Regt, 1999. "Does a shift in the tax burden create employment?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(10), pages 1195-1205.
  6. García, José Ramón & Sala, Hector, 2008. "The tax system incidence on unemployment: A country-specific analysis for the OECD economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1232-1245, November.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, July.
  8. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
  9. Thomas Beissinger & Hartmut Egger, 2004. "Dynamic wage bargaining if benefits are tied to individual wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 437-460, July.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:2:p:385-411 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Picard, P.M. & Toulemonde, E., 1999. "On the Equivalence of Taxes Paid by Employers and Employees," Papers 215, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  12. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Manning, Alan, 1990. "Imperfect Competition, Multiple Equilibria and Unemployment Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 151-62, Supplemen.
  14. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S72-101, July.
  15. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence Katz, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 1999. "Does the Composition of Wage and Payroll Taxes Matter Under Nash Bargaining?," Discussion Papers 203, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  17. Nickell, Stephen, 1982. "Wages and Unemployment: A General Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 51-55, March.
  18. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  19. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 4810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  21. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  22. Soskice, David, 1990. "Wage Determination: The Changing Role of Institutions in Advanced Industrialized Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 36-61, Winter.
  23. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of Some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates Lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reform?," IZA Discussion Papers 147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. David Carey & Harry Tchilinguirian, 2000. "Average Effective Tax Rates on Capital, Labour and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 258, OECD Publishing.
  25. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  26. Snower, Dennis J., 1994. "Unemployment Persistence and the Unemployment-Productivity Relation," CEPR Discussion Papers 958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Doménech, Rafael & Garcí­a, José Ramón, 2008. "Unemployment, taxation and public expenditure in OECD economies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 202-217, March.
  28. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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:iza:izadps:dp2226. 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 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.