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How much has labour taxation contributed to European structural unemployment?

  • Christophe Planas

    (DG-JRC of European Commission)

  • Werner Roeger

    (DG-ECFIN of European Commission)

  • Alessandro Rossi

    (DG-JRC of European Commission)

This paper analyses the effect of labour taxes on Euro area unemployment. Empirical estimates obtained so far can be criticised as being spurious because the regressions generally lack non-measurable variables constituting the reservation wage that can possibly be non stationary. Here we overcome this problem by using an unobserved component model. For the Euro area unemployment, we find a significant tax effect that is in the middle of the estimates that can be found in the empirical literature. This study gives support to the view that lowering labour taxes can help to reduce unemployment in continental Europe.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Econometrics with number 0408005.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpem:0408005
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22
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  1. Gordon, Robert J, 1996. "The Time-varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Prosperity and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 1-15, May.
  3. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1999. "Output gaps and monetary policy in the EMU area1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 801-812, April.
  5. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2001. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198523543.
  6. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence Katz, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Llaudes, Ricardo, 2005. "The Phillips curve and long-term unemployment," Working Paper Series 0441, European Central Bank.
  9. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1999. "A theory-consistent system approach for estimating potential output and the NAIRU," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 271-275, September.
  10. Fabiani, Silvia & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "A system approach for measuring the euro area NAIRU," Working Paper Series 0065, European Central Bank.
  11. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Tommaso Proietti, 2004. "Dating Business Cycles: A Methodological Contribution with an Application to the Euro Area," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(4), pages 537-565, 09.
  14. Pete Richardson & Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Mara Meacci & David Rae & David Turner, 2000. "The Concept, Policy Use and Measurement of Structural Unemployment: Estimating a Time Varying NAIRU Across 21 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
  15. Francesco Daveri, 2002. "Labor Taxes and Unemployment: a Survey of the Aggregate Evidence," CeRP Working Papers 18, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  16. David Hendry & Jurgen Doornik, 2000. "Constructing Historical Euro-Zone Data," Economics Series Working Papers 4, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Mikael Apel & Per Jansson, 1999. "System estimates of potential output and the NAIRU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 373-388.
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