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 provides a selective survey of methods and findings concerning the impact of tax and welfare policies on employment, unemployment, and economic growth in OECD countries. The paper examines a number of facets of tax and welfare policy and concludes that cross-country macroeconomic studies shed only limited light on the issue. Analyses of household behavior using microeconometric methods are much more fruitful but the question remains of how to aggregate these results to assess the overall impact of policy.