DP7984 | Payroll Taxes, Social Insurance and Business Cycles

Publication Date

01/09/2010

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Abstract

Payroll taxes represent a major distortionary influence of governments on labor markets. This paper examines the role of payroll taxation and the social safety net for cyclical fluctuations in a nonmonetary economy with labor market frictions and unemployment insurance, when the latter is only imperfectly related to search eff ort. A balanced social insurance budget renders gross wages more rigid over the cycle and, as a result, strengthens the model?s endogenous propagation mechanism. For conventional calibrations, the model generates a negatively sloped Beveridge curve as well as substantial volatility and persistence of vacancies and unemployment.