Authors: Antoine Bozio, Thomas Breda and Julien Grenet
Published in: De Economist (2017) 165: 141.
Abstract: We study the incidence of social security contributions (SSCs) in France relying on the strategy developed by Alvaredo et al. (De Econ, 2017. doi:10.1007/s10645-017-9294-7). This strategy infers the incidence of SSCSs from the discontinuities in earnings distributions created by kink points in the SSC schedule. Using administrative data on earnings for the period 1976–2010, we study approximately 200 such kink points and do not find that they systematically induce a discontinuity in the distribution of gross earnings. This allows us to reject the hypothesis that SSCs are incident on workers, at least locally around kinks. Additionally, we exploit the large variations in SSC rates across kinks and years to estimate the local incidence of both employer and employee SSCs around these thresholds. We find that employer SSCs are shifted to employers while employee SSCs are shifted to employees. These findings are consistent with the economic incidence of SSCs being aligned with their statutory incidence, locally around kink points.