alexa social reform

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social reform

Reforms in the Colombian social protection system: the equalization of salaried and self-employed labor contributions; the removal of payroll taxes, parafiscales; and the complete delinking of social protection benefits from labor status. We collect nationally representative information concerning individual willingness to pay for several packages of social security benefits; identify and quantify – for the first time – three specific distortions caused by existing social security and social assistance systems; and simulate the gains that social protection reforms would bring about in terms of reduced labor distortions. We find that workers in Colombia, regardless of occupation, have a very similar willingness to pay for the full insurance package – below 20% of their labor earnings – and very similar valuation of social protection services – about 50% below par. Labor distortions are large, as expected from very high labor costs, but we quantify an implicit formality tax and informality subsidy ranging between 2 and 27 percent of different representative workers’ earnings. Critically, the long-discussed reforms in Colombia – including the elimination of parafiscales – will not reduce substantially the multiple distortions in its labor market.

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