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Taxes and Female Labor Supply

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  • Remzi Kaygusuz

    (Sabanci University)

Abstract

The Economic Recovery Act of 1981 and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the U.S. income tax structure in a dramatic fashion. In particular, these two reforms reduced the marginal tax rates for married households. In this paper I investigate what part of the rise in labor force participation of married women between 1980 to 1990 (a rise of 13 percentage points) can be accounted by the changes in taxes. I build an heterogeneous agent model populated by married households. Households differ by age and educational attainment levels of their members and decide whether the second earner, the wife, should participate in the labor market. I select parameter values so that the model economy is consistent with the 1980 U.S. economy in terms of income tax structure, wages (skill premium and gender gap), marital sorting (who is married with whom), and female labor force participation. Using counterfactual experiments I find that 20-24% of the rise in married female labor force participation is accounted for by the changes in the income tax structure. Changes in wages account for 62-64%, and changes in marital sorting account for 14-16% of the rise in the participation rate of married women. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2009.11.004
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 725-741

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:07-1

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Keywords: Female labor force participation; Two-person households; Taxes; Tax reforms;

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References

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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2008. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Conny Olovsson, 2004. "Why do Europeans Work so Little?," 2004 Meeting Papers 760, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat Tax Reforms In The U.S.: A Boon For The Income Poor," Working Papers wp2006_0611, CEMFI.
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Cited by:
  1. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2012. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," CEPR Discussion Papers 9078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2013. "Childcare Subsidies and Household Labor Supply," Working Papers 738, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Online appendix to "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates"," Technical Appendices 11-141, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  4. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2008. "Taxation, Aggregates and the Household," CEPR Discussion Papers 6702, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Nezih Guner & Ezgi Kaya & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2014. "Gender Gaps in Spain: Policies and Outcomes over the Last Three Decades," Working Papers 751, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Remzi Kaygusuz, 2007. "Social Security and Two-Earner Households," 2007 Meeting Papers 677, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Finn E. Kydland & Carlos E. J. M. Zarazaga, 2013. "Fiscal sentiment and the weak recovery from the Great Recession: a quantitative exploration," Working Papers 1301, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Braun, R. Anton & Kopecky, Karen A. & Koreshkova, Tatyana, 2013. "Old, sick, alone, and poor: a welfare analysis of old-age social insurance programs," Working Paper 2013-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Seonyoung Park, 2014. "Recent Stagnation of Married Women’s Labor Supply: A Life-Cycle Structural Model," Working Papers 14-10, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  10. Marina Mendes, 2013. "Taxes, education,marriage and labor supply," Working Papers 1303, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  11. Gonzalo Castex, 2010. "Accounting for Changes in College Attendance Profile: a Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 598, Central Bank of Chile.

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