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In addition, member countries must also be able to provide earnings figures based on a broader definition of industry sectors in order for the results to be comparable across countries. For these reasons, Taxing Wages has continued to be based on average earnings of a production worker. However, starting from the next edition of Taxing Wages (Taxing Wages 2004-2005), the tax calculations will be made on the basis of a broadened definition of the average worker. This special feature explains the reasons for this move, and it also includes tax calculations for 2003 using the present and a broadened definition of the average worker in as an illustration of the potential consequences of the move.

It was also the case that the coverage of national earnings surveys in many countries had not developed to a point that would enable reliable average earnings measures for a much broadened industry group, and it was not clear whether a move to a more general index would make a significant difference in tax rate results. The move to base the definition of the average worker on a broadened industry coverage Since the special feature mentioned above was published, the share of the manufacturing sector in total employment has decreased steadily in almost all OECD member countries.

The tax wedge is the sum of personal income tax, employee and employer social security contributions and payroll taxes less cash benefits as a percentage of labour costs. Source: Taxing Wages calculations. change in the marginal tax wedge. 6 is about 18 per cent. While a majority of member countries according to these calculations will experience rather small changes in the tax wedges due to a broadening of the definition of the average worker, at least unless the change in the earnings level is substantial, the effects are significant in some countries.

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