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Distortionary Taxation and Labour Market Performance

Riccardo Fiorito () and Flavio Padrini

Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2001, vol. 63, issue 2, 173-96

Abstract: Quarterly estimates of consumption, capital and labour tax rates are provided for six major OECD countries. We then use the "stylized facts" methodology to evaluate the strength, sign and phase of cyclical comovements between tax rates and labour market variables. Labour taxes distort labour market decisions and help explain why the unemployment rate is so high in continental Europe. However, labour taxes cannot be the only determinant of diverging unemployment rates since the labour force is also reduced by higher taxes. Finally, we offer some preliminary structural evidence showing employment growth in particular to be negatively related to the taxation of labour. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Date: 2001
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