The Welfare State and Competitiveness
Posted: 11 May 1998
In all industrial countries, fiscal policy is increasingly about redistribution. In this paper, we study redistribution across different types of agents in a world characterized by the presence of labor unions and distortionary taxation. We show that an increase in transfers financed by distortionary taxation has nonlinear effects on unit labor costs relative to the other countries, depending on the degree of centralization of the wage- setting process in the labor market. We find considerable empirical support for the model in a sample of 14 OECD countries.
JEL Classification: E6, F4, H3, J5
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