We argue that tax policy in Japan is on a shaky empirical ground. First, until recently, no serious attempts had been made to estimate labour responses to taxation, especially with respect to prime-age male workers. Second, while there is some stock of empirical analysis on labour supply response of female workers, few studies have appropriately allowed for the budget constraint structure implied by the tax system. Third, as a corollary, there is not a reliable stock of empirical estimates to quantify the frequently employed concepts of "disincentives to work" or "distortion." Given this state of the literature, we introduce our estimates, and calculate the degree of distortion using the concept of the marginal cost of public funds.
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