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Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results

Olivier Bargain (), Kristian Orsini () and Andreas Peichl ()

Working Papers from HAL

Abstract: We suggest the first large-scale international comparison of labor supply elasticities for 17 European countries and the US, separately by gender and marital status, with measurement differences netted out by using a harmonized empirical approach and comparable data sources. We find that own-wage elasticities are relatively small and much more uniform across countries than previously considered. Nonetheless, such differences do exist, and are found not to arise from different tax-benefit systems, wage/hour level or demographic compositions across countries, suggesting genuine differences in work preferences across countries. Furthermore, three other important results for welfare analysis are consistent across countries: the extensive (participation) margin dominates the intensive (hours) margin; for singles, this leads to larger labor supply responses in low-income groups; and income elasticities are extremely small everywhere. Finally, the results for cross-wage elasticities in couples are opposed between regions, consistent with complementarity in spouses' leisure in the US versus substitution in their household production in Europe.

Keywords: elasticity; taxation; household labor supply; Europe; US (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-ltv
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00805736
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Related works:
Working Paper: Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the US: New Results (2012) Downloads
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