IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wlu/wpaper/eg0056.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Labour Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia

Author

Abstract

We use a panel of manufacturing plants from Colombia to analyze how the rise in payroll tax rates over the 1980s and 1990s affected the labor market. Our estimates indicate that formal wages fall by between 1.4% and 2.3% as a result of a 10% rise in payroll taxes. This “less-than-full-shifting” is likely to be the result of weak linkages between benefits and taxes and the presence of downward wage rigidities in Colombia. Because the costs of taxation are only partly shifted from employers to employees, employment also falls. Our results indicate that a 10% increase in payroll taxes lowered formal employment by between 4% and 5%. In addition, we find some evidence of less shifting and larger disemployment effects for production than for non-production workers. These results suggest that policies aimed at boosting the relative demand of less-skill workers by reducing social security taxes may be effective in Latin American countries, where minimum wages bind and benefits are often not directly linked to contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Kugler, M. Kugler, 2008. "Labour Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Working Papers eg0056, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:wlu:wpaper:eg0056
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.wlu.ca/documents/29176/2008-01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bosch, Mariano & Goni, Edwin & Maloney, William, 2007. "The determinants of rising informality in Brazil : Evidence from gross worker flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4375, The World Bank.
    2. Indermit S. Gill & Truman G. Packard & Juan Yermo, 2005. "Keeping the Promise of Social Security in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59998, February.
    3. Gill, Indermit S. & Packard, Truman G. & Yermo, Juan, 2005. "Keeping the Promise of Social Security in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 346, June.
    4. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F., 2005. "Labor demand and trade reform in Latin America," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 423-446, July.
    5. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, January.
    6. repec:idb:brikps:59998 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William, 2006. "Gross worker flows in the presence of informal labor markets. The Mexican experience 1987-2002," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19798, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084, Elsevier.
    9. Robert Kaestner, 1996. "The Effect of Government-Mandated Benefits on Youth Employment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 122-142, October.
    10. Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 111-144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Adriana Kugler, 1999. "The Impact of Firing Costs on Turnover and Unemployment: Evidence from the Colombian Labour Market Reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 389-410, August.
    12. Bell, Linda A, 1997. "The Impact of Minimum Wages in Mexico and Colombia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 102-135, July.
    13. Robert J. Gordon, 1972. "Wage-Price Controls and the Shifting Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 385-421.
    14. 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.
    15. Heckman, James J. & Pages, Carmen (ed.), 2004. "Law and Employment," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226322827, January.
    16. Edwards, Sebastian & Edwards, Alejandra Cox, 2002. "Social Security Privatization and Labor Markets: The Case of Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(3), pages 465-489, April.
    17. Indermit S. Gill & Truman Packard & Juan Yermo, 2005. "Keeping the Promise of Social Security in Latin America," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 7391, December.
    18. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    19. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
    20. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in a Middle-Income Country: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 852, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Labor Demand in Latin America and the Caribbean. What Does It Tell Us?," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 553-562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Andalón, Mabel & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Minimum Wages in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 3390, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    24. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0306, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    25. Carlos A.Arango & Angélica Pachón, 2004. "Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle With a Bite on the Poor," Borradores de Economia 280, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    26. Adriana D. Kugler, 2004. "The Effect of Job Security Regulations on Labor Market Flexibility. Evidence from the Colombian Labor Market Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 183-228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Carlos Arango & Angélica Pachón, 2004. "Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle with a Bite," Borradores de Economia 3224, Banco de la Republica.
    28. 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.
    29. Robert J. Gordon, 1972. "Wage-Price Controls and the Shifting Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 385-430.
    30. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
    31. MacIsaac, Donna & Rama, Martin, 1997. "Determinants of Hourly Earnings in Ecuador: The Role of Labor Market Regulations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 136-165, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0306, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    2. Adriana D. Kugler & Maurice D. Kugler & Luis O. Herrera-Prada, 2017. "Do Payroll Tax Breaks Stimulate Formality? Evidence from Colombia’s Reform," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2017), pages 3-40, November.
    3. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Mandated benefits, employment, and inequality in a dual economy," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 45051, The World Bank.
    4. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in a Middle-Income Country: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 852, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Leonardo Fabio Morales & Carlos Medina, 2017. "Assessing the Effect of Payroll Taxes on Formal Employment: The Case of the 2012 Tax Reform in Colombia," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2017), pages 75-124, November.
    7. Rita Almeida & Pedro Carneiro, 2012. "Enforcement of Labor Regulation and Informality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 64-89, July.
    8. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: Evidence from Colombia," Economics Working Papers 721, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    9. Auerbach, Paula & Genoni, María Eugenia & Pagés, Carmen, 2005. "Social Security Coverage and the Labor Market in Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1111, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Paula Auerbach & María Eugenia Genoni & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2005. "Cobertura del sistema de seguridad social y el mercado laboral en países en desarrollo," Research Department Publications 4422, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Adriana Kugler, 2011. "Is there an Anti-labor Bias of Taxes? A Survey of the Evidence from Latin America and Around the World," Research Department Publications 4746, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    12. Rita Almeida & Pedro Carneiro, Renata Narita, 2013. "Producing Higher Quality Jobs: Enforcement of Mandated Benefits across Brazilian Cities between 1996-2007," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_22, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    13. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2006. "Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labour, Firm Size and Firm Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labor and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Arias, Omar & Blom, Andreas & Bosch, Mariano & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiszbein, Ariel & Lopez Acevedo, Gladys & Maloney, William & Saavedra, Jaime & Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina & Santamaria, Mauricio & Siga, 2005. "Pending issues in protection, productivity growth, and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3799, The World Bank.
    16. Freeman, Richard B., 2010. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4657-4702, Elsevier.
    17. Andres J. Vargas, 2011. "The Effect of Social Security Contributions on Coverage and Wages: A Gender Perspective Using a Natural Experiment from Colombia," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 78(2), pages 476-501, October.
    18. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1105-1129, July.
    19. Betcherman, Gordon, 2014. "Labor market regulations : what do we know about their impacts in developing countries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6819, The World Bank.
    20. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2006. "Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency: Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 12757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payroll Taxes; Shifting; Wage Rigidities; Minimum Wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wlu:wpaper:eg0056. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Glen Stewart (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sbwluca.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.