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Should we tax overtime, subsidize the wage or subsidize employment?

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  • Victoria Osuna

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

This paper compares the macroeconomic implications of taxing overtime and using two kinds of subsidies, an employment and a wage subsidy, in a model where team work and commuting costs subject to congestion are key determinants of the choice of the workweek. To obtain reliable estimates, I calibrate the model to the substitutability between the workweek and employment using business cycle information. I find that subsidizing employment can achieve the same employment increase than taxing overtime but at a lower cost in terms of output, productivity, wages and welfare. The wage subsidy that achieves the same employment increase turns out to be very costly from a fiscal point of view, 12.7% of output versus 4.57% of output in the employment subsidy experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Victoria Osuna, 2009. "Should we tax overtime, subsidize the wage or subsidize employment?," Working Papers 09.03, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:09.03
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    2. Gabriele Cardullo & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Employment Subsidies and Substitutable Skills: An Equilibrium Matching Approach," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 375-404.
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    6. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Employment and distributional effects of restricting working time," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1291-1326, June.
    7. Orszag, J. Michael & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "Designing employment subsidies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 557-572, October.
    8. Victoria Osuna & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 179-206, January.
    9. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-273, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How to increase employment, and at what cost
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-02-26 15:03:00

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overtime taxation; Subsidies; Workweek; Team Work; Commuting costs.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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