January 21, 2019

The Incidence of Pension Contributions

This paper investigates the incidence of pension contributions using a unique longitudinal administrative dataset covering individual employees at different pension funds in the Netherlands for the period 2006-2012. With a panel-based difference-indifference approach, we estimate the response of wages, labor cost and hours worked to both marginal and average contribution rates, which provides us insight into the mechanisms underlying incidence.
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In contrast to the standard demand and supply model of labor we fi nd that average contribution rates matter more for incidence than marginal rates. Moreover, we fi nd that a substantial part of the burden (some 70%) is borne by employers. This is in line with the statutory contribution rates (on average 70-30 for employers and employees) but could also be explained by other factors such as non-salience or bargaining. Together our findings indicate that incidence is best explained by a bargaining model of wages, at least in the short and medium term considered in our analysis.

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Nicole Bosch Read more