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The impact of tax reforms on unemployment in a SMOPEC


This paper analyzes revenue-neutral tax reforms for a small open economy which is constrained to a balanced current account and whose producers have market power on the world market. We consider origin-based and destination-based commodity taxes as well as taxes on income, the payroll, and on an imported factor of production. Our main findings are the following. First, the strength, and for some parameter constellations, even the sign of the employment effect of tax reforms varies with the degree of openness of the economy. Second, the indeterminacy of the sign of the employment effect crucially hinges on the presence of an internationally mobile factor. The central mechanism underlying our results are adjustments of the real exchange rate which have repercussions on wage and price setting and therefore on employment.

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Michaelis, J., Pflüger, M. The impact of tax reforms on unemployment in a SMOPEC. Zeitschr. f. Nationalökonomie 72, 175–201 (2000).

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  • unemployment
  • wage bargaining
  • tax reform

JEL classification

  • E6
  • H2
  • J5