The Effect of the Payroll Tax on Earnings: A Test of Competing Models of Wage Determination
Under the standard competitive model, a tax change affecting workers with highly inelastic labor supply, will lower earnings by the entire nominal employer share of the tax increase. If wages play a motivational role but the market still clears, the range of possible outcomes is broader but wages should still not rise if the tax is nominally divided 50/50. In contrast, because there is excess labor (involuntary unemployment) in equilibrium, efficiency wage models resemble models in which labor supply is perfectly elastic, and thus earnings rise by more than the worker's nominal share. The 1968, 1974 and 1979 increases in the taxable earnings base for FICA provide good opportunities to test the models. This tax increase affected only those workers earning significantly more than the median earnings for male full-time/year-round workers. Such workers' labor force participation is likely to be highly inelastic. The results support models in which the motivational effects of wages are important but cannot clearly distinguish between the efficiency wage and market-clearing versions of those models.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
- Kevin Lang, 1991. "Persistent Wage Dispersion and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 181-202.
- Levine, David I, 1992. "Can Wage Increases Pay for Themselves? Tests with a Production Function," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1102-1115, September.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1989. "A Theory of Wage Dispersion and Job Market Segmentation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 121-137.
- Peter Cappelli & Keith Chauvin, 1991. "An Interplant Test of the Efficiency Wage Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 769-787.
- Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
- Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1992. "Social Security Rules and Marginal Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 3962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldstein, Martin & Samwick, Andrew A., 1992. "Social Security Rules and Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, March.
- Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz, 1989.
"Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?,"
NBER Working Papers
3182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
- Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101.
- repec:ntj:journl:v:45:y:1992:i:no._1:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
- Akerlof, George A, 1984. "Gift Exchange and Efficiency-Wage Theory: Four Views," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 79-83, May.
- Gruber, Jonathan, 1997.
"The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 72-101, July.
- Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 5053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Solow, Robert M., 1979. "Another possible source of wage stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 79-82.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
- Pisauro, Giuseppe, 1991. "The effect of taxes on labour in efficiency wage models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 329-345, December.
- James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
- William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Brown, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-134.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9537. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.