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Effects of Labor Taxes on Hours of Market and Home Work: The Role of International Capital Mobility and Trade

Author

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  • Hian Teck Hoon

    () (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the Prescott (2004) hypothesis that permanently higher payroll taxes fully explain the decline in number of market hours worked in Europe (relative to America) over three decades. The Prescott model made assumptions that, in steady state, left out any incentive for either international capital mobility or international exchange of goods. We study a one-good model where the imposition of higher payroll taxes in one region leads to higher domestic real interest rate in that region. As a result, there are incentives for international capital outflows into the high payroll tax region with the consequence that number of market hours worked in the low payroll tax region also decline. With identical tastes and rate of time discount across the two regions, we find that the number of hours worked in the market, home work, and leisure are equalized across the two regions. In the multi-good model, when factor price equalization holds so free trade acts as a substitute for factor mobility, we show that there is also equalization of market work, home work, and leisure across the two regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hian Teck Hoon, 2010. "Effects of Labor Taxes on Hours of Market and Home Work: The Role of International Capital Mobility and Trade," Working Papers 05-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:05-2010
    as

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    File URL: https://mercury.smu.edu.sg/rsrchpubupload/17485/Labortaxesandhoursworked-D9-mergedwithfigures.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Findlay, Ronald, 1970. "Factor Proportions and Comparative Advantage in the Long Run," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 27-34, Jan.-Feb..
    2. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1988. "Life-cycle saving and comparative advantage in the long run," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 375-379.
    3. Hian Hoon, 1996. "Payroll taxes and VAT in a labor-turnover model of the ‘natural rate’," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 369-383, July.
    4. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2005. "Marketization of household production and the EU–US gap in work," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 6-50, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payroll taxes; wealth decumulation; capital mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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