The Incidence of Social Security Payroll Taxes: Evidence From China

Xinxin Ma, Dongyang Zhang


The Chinese government enforced public security system reform in the economic transition period. Now, the enterprise’ social insurance premium, a kind of payroll tax, is nearly 40% of the total wage in China. It is thought enterprises may transfer the burden of payroll taxes to workers by reducing their wages. Does the level of an enterprise’s social security payroll taxes influence their workers’ wages? Using the Chinese Large and Medium-size Manufacturing Enterprises (CLMME) dataset to construct an enterprise panel data from 2004 to 2007, we employ an empirical study to provide evidence on the issue. We utilize the fixed effects model, random effects model and Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) method to address the heterogeneity problem, initial dependent problem and endogenous problem. It is found that in general, increased social security payroll taxes negatively affect the workers’ wages, which indicates that many enterprises may transfer the payroll taxes burden onto their workers. Increased social security payroll taxes may decrease the wage levels for workers in both the public sector and the private sector, but the negative effect is greater for workers in the private sector than in the public sector.

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International Journal of Financial Research
ISSN 1923-4023(Print)ISSN 1923-4031(Online)


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