Is the Impact of Labour Taxes on Unemployment asymmetric?
This paper tests whether the impact of labour taxes on unemployment is symmetric with respect to increases and decreases in labour taxes. Using a panel of 16 OECD countries over the period 1970-2005, we estimate a panel unobserved component model to account for the fact that unemployment rates and labour taxes are non-stationary but not co integrated. We find a positive impact of tax increases in European and Nordic countries but no effect of decreasing labour taxes on the rate of unemployment. For Anglo-Saxon countries, no impact of labour taxes on unemployment is found.
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