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Taxes and Marriage: A Two-Sided Search Analysis

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This paper studies the effects of differential tax treatment toward married and single individuals in the US on marriage formation and composition, divorce and labor supply. We develop a marriage market model with search frictions and heterogeneous agents that is sufficiently rich to capture key elements of the problem under consideration. We then calibrate the model and use it to evaluate the quantitative effects of a number of tax reforms aimed at making the tax law neutral with respect to marital status. We find that reforms can have substantial effects on the labor supply of married females and on the degree of assortative mating.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in its series Working Papers with number 2132862.

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Handle: RePEc:asu:wpaper:2132862

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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, . "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Inocome," Penn CARESS Working Papers 65f9ffed93b3a872de23c94c2, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  4. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1999. "The impact of wives’ earnings on income inequality: Issues and estimates," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 173-184, May.
  5. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  6. Bloch, Francis & Ryder, Harl, 2000. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages, and Matchmakers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 93-115, February.
  7. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1997. "Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 219-240, May.
  8. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  9. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Berliant, Marcus & Rothstein, Paul, 2003. "Possibility, Impossibility, and History in the Origins of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(2), pages 303-17, June.
  11. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  12. Teresa Martin & Larry Bumpass, 1989. "Recent trends in marital disruption," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 37-51, February.
  13. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  14. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  15. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  16. Kenneth Burdett & Randall Wright, 1994. "Two-sided search," Staff Report 169, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Sjoquist, David L. & Walker, Mary Beth, 1995. "The Marriage Tax and the Rate and Timing of Marriage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 547-58, December.
  18. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  19. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1995. "Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 565-72, December.
  20. Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Pollak, Robert, 2007. "Family Bargaining and Taxes: A Prolegomenon to the Analysis of Joint Taxation," IZA Discussion Papers 3109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Shannon Seitz, 2009. "Accounting for Racial Differences in Marriage and Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 385-437, 07.
  3. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "The Timing of Births: A Marriage Market Analysis," Penn CARESS Working Papers 49355d43c11f2314075e8b54e, Penn Economics Department.
  4. Marina Mendes, 2013. "Taxes, education,marriage and labor supply," Working Papers 1303, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  5. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2008. "Taxation, aggregates and the household," Working Papers 660, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Melvyn G Coles & Marco Francesconi, 2013. "Equilibrium Search and the Impact of Equal Opportunities for Women," Economics Discussion Papers 742, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2002. "Fertility Decisions and Gender Differences in Labor Turnover, Employment, and Wages," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 856-891, October.
  9. Knowles, John, 2007. "Why Are Married Men Working So Much? Home Production, Household Bargaining and Per-Capita Hours," IZA Discussion Papers 2909, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2013. "Childcare Subsidies and Household Labor Supply," Working Papers 738, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2013. "Reforming Family Taxation in Germany: Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 613, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2009. "Marital Risk, Family Insurance, and Public Policy," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 226, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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