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Taxing Wages 2004

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Taxing Wages provides unique information on income tax paid and social security contributions levied on an average worker and their employers in OECD countries.  In addition, this annual publication specifies family benefits paid as cash transfers.  Amounts of taxes and benefits are detailed program by program, for eight household types which differ by income level and household composition.  For each country, a detailed description of the tax regime is provided.  This year's issue includes a Special feature entitled "Broadening the Definition of the Average Worker".

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Special Feature

Broadening the Definition of the Average Worker

Presently the tax calculations in Taxing Wages are based on the average earnings of manual employees working full-time in the manufacturing sector (average production worker; APW). However, the number of people employed as manual workers in the manufacturing sector as a share of total employment has been decreasing steadily over time in most OECD countries. As a result of this it might be questioned whether average earnings of a manual production worker is still a sufficiently representative measure of average earnings of a “typical taxpayer”. This question was addressed in a special feature in the 1994 publication, The Tax/Benefit Position of Production Workers – Annual Report 1990-1993, and the results from that special feature indicated that the present definition did not provide the best basis for comparable results across countries...

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