IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Beyond the Labour Income Tax Wedge: The Unemployment-Reducing Effect of Tax Progressivity

  • Lehmann, Etienne

    ()

    (CRED, Université Panthéon Assas Paris 2)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Moriconi, Simone

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Van der Linden, Bruno

    ()

    (IRES, Université catholique de Louvain)

In this paper we argue that, for a given overall level of labour income taxation, a more progressive tax schedule increases employment. From a theoretical point of view, higher progressivity increases overall employment through a wage moderating effect and also because employment of low-paid workers is more elastic to wages. We test these theoretical predictions on a panel of 21 OECD countries over 1998-2008. Controlling for the burden of taxation at the average wage, our estimates suggest that a more progressive tax schedule reduces the unemployment rate and increases the employment rate. These findings are confirmed when we account for the potential endogeneity of both average taxation and progressivity. Overall, our results suggest that policy-makers should not only focus on the detrimental effects of tax progressivity on in-work effort, but also consider the employment-enhancing effects.

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: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8276.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8276.

as
in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Tax and Public Finance, 2015, 1-36.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8276
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: http://www.iza.org

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:


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. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  2. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x.
  3. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  4. Roed, Knut & Strom, Steinar, 2002. " Progressive Taxes and the Labour Market: Is the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-110, February.
  5. Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van Der Linden, Bruno, 2011. "Optimal income taxation with endogenous participation and search unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1523-1537.
  6. Cahuc, Pierre & Marque, François & Wasmer, Etienne, 2004. "A Theory of Wages and Labour Demand with Intra-firm Bargaining and Matching Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4605, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  9. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
  10. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," NBER Working Papers 14278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2008. "Employment, hours of work and the optimal taxation of low income families," IFS Working Papers W08/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Micro-Simulation Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Werner Eichhorst & Michael Feil & Paul Marx, 2010. "Crisis, What Crisis? Patterns of Adaptation in European Labor Markets," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 61(Supplemen), pages 29-64.
  15. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hansen, Claus Thustrup, 1999. " Lower Tax Progression, Longer Hours and Higher Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 49-65, March.
  17. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. L. Nunziata, 2002. "Institutions and Wage Determination: A Multi-Country Approach," Working Papers 433, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  19. Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Macartney, Gareth, 2006. "Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Mathias Hungerbühler & Etienne Lehmann & Alexis Parmentier & Bruno Van Der Linden, 2006. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Search Equilibrium Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 743-767.
  22. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/432sbils8u9, Sciences Po.
  23. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  24. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  25. Andrea Pescatori & Daniel Leigh & Jaime Guajardo & Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 11/128, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Impact of Differential Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2000. "Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 79-93, January.
  28. Mathieu Bunel & Yannick L'Horty, 2012. "The Effects of Reduced Social Security Contributions on Employment: An Evaluation of the 2003 French Reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 371-398, 09.
  29. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal Stabilizations: When Do They Work and Why," Scholarly Articles 2580047, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1985. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 121-133.
  31. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Sangnier, Marc, 2014. "Trust and the Welfare State: The Twin Peaks Curve," IZA Discussion Papers 8277, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  32. Lawrence Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1993. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 385-411.
  33. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
  34. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Marc Sangnier, 2011. "Efficient and Inefficient Welfare States," Sciences Po publications 5445, Sciences Po.
  35. Etienne Lehmann & François Marical & Laurence Rioux, 2012. "Labor Income Responds Differently to Income-Tax and Payroll-Tax Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 3974, CESifo Group Munich.
  36. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, June.
  37. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  38. 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.
  39. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.S., 1995. "Progressive Taxation, Wage Setting and Unemployment - Theory and Swedish Evidence," Papers 15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  40. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2002. "Public employment and labour market performance," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(34), pages 7-66, 04.
  41. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1997. "The Impact of Employment Tax Cuts on Unemployment and Wages: The Role of Unemployment Benefits and Tax Structure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  42. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2006. "Civic Attitudes and the Design of Labour Market Institutions: Which Countries Can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," Working Papers hal-01065624, HAL.
  44. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8811 is not listed on IDEAS
  45. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
  46. Stéphanie Guichard & Mike Kennedy & Eckhard Wurzel & Christophe André, 2007. "What Promotes Fiscal Consolidation: OECD Country Experiences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 553, OECD Publishing.
  47. Hersoug, Tor, 1984. "Union Wage Responses to Tax Changes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 37-51, March.
  48. Alan Manning, 1992. "Wage Bargaining and the Phillips Curve: The Identification and Specification of Aggregate Wage Equations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0062, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  49. Alberto Alesina & Gerald D. Cohen & Nouriel Roubini, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy And Elections In Oecd Democracies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, 03.
  50. Giorgio Brunello & Daniela Sonedda, 2007. "Progressive taxation and wage setting when unions strategically interact," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 127-140, January.
  51. Martin Falk & Bertrand Koebel, 2001. "A dynamic heterogeneous labour demand model for German manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 339-348.
  52. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
  53. 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.
  54. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
  55. Nichols, Austin & Rothstein, Jesse, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6w2736gk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    • Austin Nichols & Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  56. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Progressive Taxation and Tax Morale," IZA Discussion Papers 5378, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  57. Alfonso Arpaia & Gilles Mourre, 2009. "Institutions and Performance in European Labour Markets: Taking a Fresh Look at Evidence," Working Papers CEB 09-049.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  58. Hansen, Claus Thustrup & Pedersen, Lars Haagen & Slok, Torsten, 2000. "Ambiguous effects of tax progressivity -- theory and Danish evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 335-347, May.
  59. Sapienza, Paola & Toldra Simats, Anna & Zingales, Luigi, 2007. "Understanding Trust," CEPR Discussion Papers 6462, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  60. Cloyne, James S, 2010. "Discretionary tax shocks in the United Kingdom 1945-2009: a narrative account and dataset," MPRA Paper 34913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  61. Austin Nichols & Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)," NBER Working Papers 21211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  62. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314.
  63. Ardagna, Silvia, 2004. "Fiscal stabilizations: When do they work and why," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1047-1074, October.
  64. Ben Lockwood & Alan Manning, 1993. "Wage Setting and the Tax System: theory and Evidence for the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0115, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  65. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
  66. R. A. Musgrave & Tun Thin, 1948. "Income Tax Progression, 1929-48," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 498.
  67. Alberto Alesina & Gerald D. Cohen & Nouriel Roubini, 1991. "Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies," NBER Working Papers 3830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  68. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
  69. Bean, C R & Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1986. "The Rise in Unemployment: A Multi-country Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S1-22, Supplemen.
  70. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  71. Alexis, PARMENTIER, 2006. "The effects of the marginal tax rate in a matching model with endogenous labor supply," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006011, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  72. 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.
  73. Cohen, Gerald & Alesina, Alberto & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies," Scholarly Articles 4553023, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  74. Davide Tondani & Patrizia Mancini, 2005. "Gli effetti redistributivi delle riforme dell'imposizione personale nella XIV Legislatura," Public Economics 0510005, EconWPA.
  75. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
  76. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  77. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
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:dp8276. 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.