To boost the employment rate of the low-skilled
trapped in inactivity is it sufficient to supplement their earnings?
High risk of poverty and low employment rates
are widespread among low-skilled groups, especially in the case of some
household compositions (e.g. single mothers). “Making-work-pay” policies
have been advocated for and implemented to address these issues. They
alleviate the above-mentioned problems without providing a disincentive to
work. However, do they deliver on their promises? If they do reduce poverty
and enhance employment, is it possible to determine their effects on
indicators of well-being, such as mental health and life satisfaction, or on
the acquisition of human capital?
Understanding how migration responds to tax
changes will aid in setting the progressivity of a tax system
Decreased transportation costs have led to the
transmission of ideas and values across national borders that has helped
reduce the barriers to international labor mobility. In this context,
high-skilled individuals are more likely to vote with their feet in response
to high income taxes. It is thus important to examine the magnitude of
tax-driven migration responses in developed countries as well as the
possible consequences of income tax competition between nation states. More
specifically, how does the potential threat of migration affect a country’s
optimal income tax policies?
Reliable estimates of taxpayer effects are
essential for complete economic analyses of the costs and benefits of
Taxpayer effects are a central part of the
total economic costs and benefits of immigration, but they have not received
much study. These effects are the additional or lower taxes paid by
native-born households due to the difference between tax revenues paid and
benefits received by immigrant households. The effects vary considerably by
immigrant attributes and level of government involvement, with costs usually
diminishing greatly over the long term as immigrants integrate fully into
Workers and policymakers may fear that
privatization leads to job losses and wage cuts, but what’s the empirical
Conventional wisdom and prevailing economic
theory hold that the new owners of a privatized firm will cut jobs and
wages. But this ignores the possibility that new owners will expand the
firm’s scale, with potentially positive effects on employment, wages, and
productivity. Evidence generally shows these forces to be offsetting,
usually resulting in small employment and earnings effects and sometimes in
large, positive effects on productivity and scale. Foreign ownership usually
has positive effects, and the effects of domestic privatization tend to be
larger in countries with a more competitive business environment.
Minimum wage increases fail to stimulate growth
and can have a negative impact on vulnerable workers during recessions
Proponents of minimum wage increases have argued
that such hikes can serve as an engine of economic growth and assist
low-skilled individuals during downturns in the business cycle. However, a
review of the literature provides little empirical support for these claims.
Minimum wage increases redistribute gross domestic product away from
lower-skilled industries and toward higher-skilled industries and are
largely ineffective in assisting the poor during both peaks and troughs in
the business cycle. Minimum wage-induced reductions in employment are found
to be larger during economic recessions.
After three recessions, a new emphasis on the importance of collective institutions and social dialogue is emerging
Old and new EU member states still adopt quite different labor market institutions and policies: convergence has been partial and limited. Nevertheless, a new agreement is spreading on the importance of well-developed, coordinated institutions, supported by social dialogue, in view of the increasing challenges posed by the macro economy and by the increasing fragmentation of labor markets.