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Tax progression and human capital in imperfect labour markets

  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Huber, Bernd

Recent contributions to the theory of taxation argue that tax progression raises welfare and employment in the presence of labour market imperfections. This literature takes the endowment of workers with human capital as given. The present paper analyses the effects of tax progression in a model with endogenous human capital formation. We show that the effect of tax progression on human capital investment depends on the deductibility of the cost of human capital formation. With full deductibility, tax progression raises employment and welfare. With incomplete deductibility, in contrast, the effect of tax progression on employment and welfare may be negative.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20291.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in German Economic Review 1 2(2001): pp. 1-18
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20291
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  1. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  4. Koskela, Erkki & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1996. "Tax progression is good for employment in popular models of trade union behaviour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-80, August.
  5. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  6. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  7. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  8. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1997. "Minimum wages and the incentives for skill formation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-40, April.
  9. B Bell & Stephen Nickell, 1996. "Would Cutting Payroll Taxes on the Unskilled Have a Significant Effect on Unemployment?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0276, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. 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.
  11. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
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