DP1298 | Labour Market Institutions and the Cohesion of the Middle Class

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30/11/1995

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Abstract

We develop a simple model to study how relative wage rigidity affects equilibrium taxation. It is argued that relative wage rigidity, by compressing incomes within the middle class, leads to a lower degree of redistributive conflict within the politically important core of society, even though income inequality may increase for society as a whole. In the model, people vote first on wage rigidity and second on redistributive taxation. The rigid society has a lower tax rate than the flexible one. it is supported by the 'middle-class' in the first stage, while the poor, the rich and the unemployed suffer from it.