The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper investigates the relationship between labor taxation and unemployment in Sweden by estimating a labor market model that includes a wage-setting locus and labor demand and supply relationships. The study simulates the effect of a 1 percentage point increase in the payroll tax and in total tax rates. The increase in the payroll tax pushes up labor costs by about ½ percent over a 5–10 year time horizon. Hours worked fall by 0.5 percent and the unemployment rate rises by 0.3 percentage point. The increase in total tax rates generates a similar result. Therefore, it appears that increases in taxes have adversely affected employment and unemployment in Sweden.