Does Tax-Benefit Linkage Matter for the Incidence of Social Security Contributions?
88 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019
We study the earnings responses to three large increases in employer Social Security contributions (SSCs) in France. We find evidence of full pass-through to workers in the case of a strong and salient relationship between contributions and expected benefits. By contrast, we find limited pass-through of employer SSCs to wages for reforms that increased SSCs with no tax-benefit linkage. Together with a meta-analysis of the literature, we interpret these results as evidence that tax-benefit linkage and its salience matter for incidence, a claim long made by the literature but not backed by direct empirical evidence to date.
Keywords: tax incidence, payroll tax, social security contributions, tax-benefit linkage
JEL Classification: H22, H55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation