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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Intertemporal Labor Supply Substitution? Evidence from the Swiss Income Tax Holidays

Isabel Z. Martinez, Emmanuel Saez, Michael Siegenthaler

NBER Working Paper No. 24634
Issued in May 2018, Revised in July 2020
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Public Economics

This paper estimates intertemporal labor supply responses to two-year long income tax holidays staggered across Swiss cantons. Cantons shifted from an income tax system based on the previous two years' income to a standard annual pay as you earn system, leaving two years of income untaxed. We find significant but quantitatively very small responses of wage earnings with an inter-temporal elasticity of .025 overall. High wage income earners and especially the self-employed display larger responses with elasticities around .1 and .25 respectively, most likely driven by tax avoidance. We find no effects along the extensive margin at all.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24634

 
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