Taxing Wages 2011

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Taxing Wages provides unique information on income tax paid by workers and on social security contributions levied upon employees and their employers in OECD countries. In addition, this annual publication specificies family benefits paid as cash transfers. Amounts of taxes and benefits are detailed programme by programme, for eight household types which differ by income level and household composition. Results reported include the marginal and effective tax burden for one- and two-earner families and total labour costs of employers.

These data on tax burdens and cash benefits are widely used in academic research and in the preparation and evaluation of social and economic policy making.

Taxing Wages 2011 includes a special feature entitled "Trends in personal income tax and social security contribution schedules".

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Graphical exposition of the 2011 estimated tax burden

The graphs in this section show the estimated tax burden on labour income in 2011 for gross wage earnings between 50 per cent and 250 per cent of the average wage (AW). For each OECD member country, there are separate graphs for four family types: single taxpayers without children, single parents with two children, one-earner married couples without children and one-earner married couples with two children. The net personal average and marginal tax rates ([the change in] personal income taxes and employee social security contributions net of cash benefits as a percentage of [the change in] gross wage earnings) are included in the graphs that show respectively the average and the marginal tax wedge.The marginal tax wedges in the graphs are calculated in a slightly different manner than the marginal tax rates that are included in the rest of the Taxing Wages publication. In Taxing Wages, marginal rates are usually calculated by increasing gross earnings by one currency unit (except for the spouse in the one-earner married couple whose earnings increase by 1/3 of the average wage). However, the +1 currency unit approach requires the calculation of marginal rates for every single currency unit within the income range included in the graphs. It otherwise would not be correct to draw a line through the different data points because the data for the income levels in between the different points would be missing. In order to reduce the required number of calculations, the marginal rates that are shown in the graphs are calculated by increasing gross earnings by 1 percentage point – each line in the graph therefore consists of 200 data points – instead of 1 currency unit.



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