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Tax-benefit systems and differences in aggregate labour force participation: Comparative evidence from the Czech Republic and Hungary

Kamil Galuscak and Gábor Kátay ()

Economic Systems, 2019, vol. 43, issue 3

Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which cross-country differences in aggregate participation rates can be explained by differences in tax-benefit systems. We take the example of two countries, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which – despite a lot of similarities – differ markedly in labour force participation rates. Using comparable individual-level labour supply estimates, we simulate how the aggregate participation rate would change in one country if the other country’s tax and social welfare system were adopted. The estimation results for the two countries are quite similar, suggesting that individual preferences are essentially identical in the two countries. The simulation results show that about one-third of the difference in the participation rates of the 15–74 year-old population and more than two-thirds of the participation of the prime-age population can be explained by differences in the tax-benefit systems.

Keywords: Cross-country comparison; Labour supply; Microsimulation; Participation rate; Tax-benefit systems (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C15 H24 I38 J22 P50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecosys.2019.100701

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