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Reducing the Excess Burden of Subsidizing the Stork: Joint Taxation, Individual Taxation, and Family Tax Splitting

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  • Volker Meier

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  • Matthias Wrede

Abstract

Analyzing a homogenous household setting with endogenous fertility and endogenous labor supply, we demonstrate that moving from joint taxation to individual taxation and adapting child benefits so as to keep fertility constant entails a Pareto improvement. The change is associated with an increase in labor supply and consumption and a reduction of the marginal income tax, while the child benefit may move in either direction. Similarly, a move from joint taxation to some scheme of family tax splitting increases labor supply and welfare.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-11/cesifo1_wp2470.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2470.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2470

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Keywords: income taxation; fertility; splitting; labor supply;

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  1. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2012. "On the optimality of joint taxation for noncooperative couples," Munich Reprints in Economics 19177, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & DELLIS, Arnaud & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2001. "Family size and optimal income taxation," CORE Discussion Papers 2001021, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini & Anna Pettini, 2000. "Tranfers to families with children as a principal-agent problem," CHILD Working Papers wp02_00, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  4. Cigno, Alessandro & Pettini, Anna, 2002. "Taxing family size and subsidizing child-specific commodities?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 75-90, April.
  5. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives, and Household Welfare?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 115-142, March.
  6. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2004. "Fertility, Taxation and Family Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 745-763, December.
  7. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2007. "The Taxation of Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 2910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1996. "The Tax Unit and Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 398-418, April.
  9. Michiel Evers & Ruud Mooij & Daniel Vuuren, 2008. "The Wage Elasticity of Labour Supply: A Synthesis of Empirical Estimates," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
  10. Patricia F. Apps & Ray Rees, 1999. "Individual versus Joint Taxation in Models with Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 393-403, April.
  11. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner, 2004. "Optimal Taxation of Married Couples with Household Production," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  13. Laisney, François & Beninger, Denis & Beblo, Miriam, 2003. "Family Tax Splitting: A Microsimulation of its Potential Labour Supply and Intra-household Welfare Effects in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini & Anna Pettini, 2000. "Endogenous Fertility And The Design Of Family Taxation," CHILD Working Papers wp03_00, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  15. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," NBER Working Papers 12685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Alessandro Cigno, 2001. "Comparative Advantage, Observability, and the Optimal Tax Treatment of Families with Children," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 455-470, August.
  17. Martin Feldstein & Daniel R. Feenberg, 1996. "The Taxation of Two-Earner Families," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 39-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Verdelin, Nicolaj, 2011. "Optimal tax and transfer programs for couples with extensive labor supply responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1485-1500.
  19. Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-51, December.
  20. Alessandro Balestrino, 2001. "On the Optimal Fiscal Treatment of Family Size," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(2), pages 140-, February.
  21. Craig Brett, 2007. "Optimal nonlinear taxes for families," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 225-261, June.
  22. Fraser, Clive D, 2001. "Income Risk, the Tax-Benefit System and the Demand for Children," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 105-25, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Beyond Ramsey: Gender-Based Taxation with Non-Cooperative Couples," CESifo Working Paper Series 3966, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kemnitz, Alexander & Thum, Marcel, 2013. "Gender power, fertility, and family policy," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/13, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  3. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2010. "On the Optimality of Joint Taxation for Non-Cooperative Couples," CESifo Working Paper Series 3128, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2013. "Reforming Family Taxation in Germany - Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4386, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2014. "Pigou Meets Ramsey: Gender-Based Taxation with Non-Cooperative Couples," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 179, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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