Attinasi, Maria-Grazia Prammer, Doris Stähler, Nikolai Tasso, Martino Van Parys, Stefan
Year of Publication:
Discussion Paper, Deutsche Bundesbank 26/2016
Budget-neutral tax wedge reductions rank high in the policy agenda of several EMU member states. Using a New Keynesian DSGE model of a monetary union with a complex labour market structure and a comprehensive public sector, we evaluate the macroeconomic and welfare effects of reducing the firms' and workers' labour tax rates under alternative financing instruments. Overall, a tax wedge reduction is beneficial in terms of both welfare and output, as long as the financing measure does not harm private-sector productivity and/or the incentive for private capital investments over-proportionately. While financing the labour tax wedge reduction by an increase in consumption taxation yields most favourable output effects, financing it by a reduction in government spending is more beneficial in terms of welfare as the latter does not imply a policy-induced increase in private consumption costs. We also show that, when we assume that firms can adjust the ex- and intensive labour margin in response to policy changes, a reduction in the workers' and not the firms' burden is most beneficial.