NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Todd J. Kumler

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Working Papers

August 2013Enlisting Employees in Improving Payroll-Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico
with Eric Verhoogen, Judith A. Frías: w19385
Non-compliance of firms with tax regulations is a major constraint on state capacity in developing countries. We focus on an arguably under-appreciated dimension of non-compliance: under-reporting of wages by formal firms to evade payroll taxes. We develop a simple partial-equilibrium model of endogenous compliance by heterogeneous firms to guide the empirical investigation. We then compare two independent sources of individual-level wage information from Mexico -- firms' wage reports to the Mexican social security agency and workers' responses to a household labor-force survey -- to investigate the extent of wage under-reporting and how it responded to an important change in the social security system. We document that under-reporting by formal firms is extensive, and that compliance is b...
June 2011Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read in School: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines
with Ama Baafra Abeberese, Leigh L. Linden: w17185
We show that a short-term (31 day) reading program, designed to provide age-appropriate reading material, to train teachers in their use, and to support teachers' initial efforts for about a month improves students' reading skills by 0.13 standard deviations. The effect is still present three months after the program but diminishes to 0.06 standard deviations, probably due to a reduced emphasis on reading after the program. We find that the program also encourages students to read more on their own at home. We find no evidence that improved reading ability improves test scores on other subjects.

Abeberese, Ama Baafra, Todd J. Kumler and Leig h L. Linden. Forthcoming. "Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read in Schoo l: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines," The Journal of Human Resources.

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