How Tax Progression Affects Effort and Employment

27 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007

See all articles by Erkki Koskela

Erkki Koskela

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Bank of Finland - Research Department; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ronnie Schöb

Freie Universitaet Berlin; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Within an efficiency wage framework, we study the effects of two revenue-neutral tax reforms that change the progressivity of the labour tax system. A revenue-neutral increase in both the wage tax and tax exemption and a revenue-neutral change in the composition of labour taxation towards the tax with the smaller tax base will lead to the same results: they moderate wages, workers' effort, effective labour input and aggregate output. Whether employment rises or falls, however, depends in both reforms on the magnitude of the pre-reform total tax wedge. The larger this tax wedge is, the more negative is the impact of reforms on workers' effort. A larger total tax wedge increases the negative effect of tax progression on labour productivity and thus thwarts the positive employment effect of wage moderation.

Keywords: efficiency wages, tax progression, structure of labour taxation

JEL Classification: H22, J41, J48

Suggested Citation

Koskela, Erkki and Schöb, Ronnie, How Tax Progression Affects Effort and Employment (June 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2861. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=998475

Erkki Koskela (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 54
FIN-00014 Helsinki
Finland
+358 9 191 8894 (Phone)
+358 9 191 8877 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/servlet/page?_pageid=56&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30&pa_id=7298

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Bank of Finland - Research Department ( email )

P.O. Box 160
FIN-00101 Helsinki
Finland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ronnie Schöb

Freie Universitaet Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstraße 20
Berlin, Berlin 14195
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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