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Labor Earnings Respond Differently to Income-Tax and to Payroll-Tax Reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Lehmann, Etienne

    () (CRED, Université Panthéon Assas Paris 2)

  • Marical, François

    () (INSEE)

  • Rioux, Laurence

    () (CREST-INSEE)

Abstract

We estimate the responses of gross labor earnings with respect to marginal and average net-of-tax rates in France over the period 2003-2006. We exploit a series of reforms to the income-tax and the payroll-tax schedules that affect individuals who earn less than twice the minimum wage. Our estimate for the elasticity of gross labor earnings with respect to the marginal net-of-income-tax rate is around 0.2, while we find no response to the marginal net-of-payroll-tax rate. The elasticity with respect to the average net-of-tax rates is not significant for the income-tax schedule, while it is close to -1 for the payroll-tax schedule. A plausible explanation is the existence of significant labor supply responses to the income-tax schedule, combined with a short-term rigidity of the hourly taxable wage (i.e. the gross wage minus payroll taxes), casting doubts about public finance analysis that assumes perfect competition on the labor market. Finally, the effect of the net-of-income-tax rate seems to be driven by labor supply participation decisions, in particular those of females.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehmann, Etienne & Marical, François & Rioux, Laurence, 2011. "Labor Earnings Respond Differently to Income-Tax and to Payroll-Tax Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 6108, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Blomquist, Sören & Selin, Håkan, 2010. "Hourly wage rate and taxable labor income responsiveness to changes in marginal tax rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 878-889, December.
    6. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 335-358, January.
    7. Emmanuel Saez & Manos Matsaganis & Panos Tsakloglou, 2012. "Earnings Determination and Taxes: Evidence From a Cohort-Based Payroll Tax Reform in Greece," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 493-533.
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    10. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-572, June.
    11. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathieu Bunel & Céline Emond & Yannick L’Horty, 2012. "Évaluer les réformes des exonérations générales de cotisations sociales," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(7), pages 57-103.
    2. Laun, Lisa, 2012. "The E ffect of Age-Targeted Tax Credits on Retirement Behavior," Research Papers in Economics 2012:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    3. Raphael A Espinoza & Esther Perez Ruiz, 2014. "Labor Tax Cuts and Employment; A General Equilibrium Approach for France," IMF Working Papers 14/114, International Monetary Fund.
    4. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:604:p:2187-2215 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Matthias Weber & Arthur Schram, 2017. "The Non‐equivalence of Labour Market Taxes: A Real‐effort Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2187-2215, September.
    6. Vincent Charlet & Philippe Frocrain, 2017. "Les limites des allégements de charges sur les bas salaires," Working Papers hal-01695167, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor earnings; payroll tax; income tax;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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