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Minimum Wage and Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence

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  • Tonin, Mirco

    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

Abstract

This paper examines the interaction between minimum wage legislation and tax evasion by employed labor. I develop a model in which firms and workers may agree to report less than the true amount of earnings to the fiscal authorities. I show that introducing a minimum wage creates a spike in the distribution of declared earnings and induces higher compliance by some agents, thus reducing their disposable income. The comparison of food consumption and of the consumption-income gap before and after the massive minimum wage hike that took place in Hungary in 2001 reveals that households who appeared to benefit from the hike actually experienced a drop compared to similar but unaffected households, thus supporting the prediction of the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Tonin, Mirco, 2011. "Minimum Wage and Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5660, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5660
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; Hungary; tax evasion; spike;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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