Michael Burda, born in New Orleans, USA, in 1959. Ph.D. from Harvard University. Professor of Economics at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Willem F. Duisenberg Fellow (1 February 2010 – 30 April 2010)
THE MACROECONOMICS OF PAYROLL TAXES
My research at NIAS focused on the effects of labour taxation on the behaviour of the macroeconomy. Issues of long-run incidence of labour taxes (payroll taxes, ‘contributions to social insurance’) in the Netherlands, the United States of America and Germany were the subject of the Willem F. Duisenberg lecture. My research included the following issues. First, while the gross labour share (total labour costs to firms) in the Netherlands has been relatively stable, there have been considerable fluctuations in its private and public components. Second, it investigated the impact of labour taxes on the business cycle in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with labour market imperfections. It looked in particular at the effects on business cycle propagation when unemployment insurance is imperfectly targeted and when labour taxes are adjusted in response to short-term funding requirements. Finally, it studied the theoretical impact of collective bargaining on the distribution of wages in the context of a model of union wage setting.