Taxation and Market Work: Is Scandinavia an Outlier?
This paper argues that it is essential to explicitly consider how the government spends tax revenues when assessing the effects of tax rates on aggregate hours of market work. Different forms of government spending imply different elasticities of hours of work with regard to tax rates. I illustrate the empirical importance of this point by addressing the issue of hours worked and tax rates in three sets of economies: the US, Continental Europe and Scandinavia. While tax rates are highest in Scandinavia, hours worked in Scandinavia are significantly higher than they are in Continental Europe. I argue that differences in the form of government spending can potentially account for this pattern.
Published: Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.