Labor Cost and Payroll Tax Cuts: an Estimation at the Plant Level Between 1996 and 2008
This paper describes a methodology to estimate labor costs at the establishment level. This estimation is based on annual declarations of social data (DADS), which provide exhaustive data on gross wages paid by private and semi-public firms. The real cost of each job is estimated using the precise schemes of social contributions, including in particular the various measures of reductions of national social contribution. These data are used to describe the changes in the cost of labor and employment between 1996 and 2008, broken down by qualification. During this period, labor costs increased less for unskilled employees than for other qualifications, partly because the devices to reduce charges dampened the increases caused by the reduction of working time. In terms of employment, the share of high skilled employees mainly increased at the expense of the share of skilled workers. The share of unskilled workers remained roughly stable.