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Taxation and Skills

image of Taxation and Skills

This Tax Policy Study on Taxation and Skills examines how tax policy can encourage skills development in OECD countries. This study also assesses the returns to tertiary and adult education and examines how these returns are shared between governments and students. The study builds indicators that examine incentives for individuals and governments to invest in education. These indicators take into account the various financial costs of skills investments for individuals such as foregone after-tax earnings and tuition fees, as well as whether investments are financed with savings or with student loans. Costs borne by governments such as grants, scholarships, lost taxes, and skills tax expenditures are also accounted for. The indicators also incorporate the returns to skills investments for individuals and governments through higher after-tax wages and higher tax revenues respectively.

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Technical approach to calculating tax and skills indicators

This annex outlines an approach to estimating the financial incentives for individuals and governments to invest in individuals’ skills, and the effect of the tax system on these incentives. Specifically, the annex derives Marginal Effective Tax Rates (METRs) and Average Effective Tax Rates (AETRs) on Human Capital Investment, as well as Marginal Returns to Costs Ratios (MRCRs) and Average Returns to Costs Ratios (ARCRs) of Government Investment in Human Capital. The annex also explains how these measures relate to each other, and outlines the effect of government taxes and spending on incentives to invest in skills.

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