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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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Bibliographic Info

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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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2011. "On the Optimality of Joint Taxation for Non-Cooperative Couples," Munich Reprints in Economics 19179, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 537-560, 03.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution, Work Incentives and Household Welfare?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 44, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "The Taxation of Couples," CEPR Discussion Papers 559, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Alessandro Balestrino & Alessandro Cigno & Anna Pettini, 2002. "Endogenous Fertility and the Design of Family Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 175-193, March.
  9. Cigno, Alessandro & Luporini, Annalisa & Pettini, Anna, 2003. "Transfers to families with children as a principal-agent problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1165-1177, May.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Alessandro Balestrino, 2001. "On The Optimal Fiscal Treatment Of Family Size," CHILD Working Papers wp04_01, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  14. Craig Brett, 2007. "Optimal nonlinear taxes for families," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 225-261, June.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2004. "Fertility, Taxation and Family Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 745-763, December.
  21. John Piggott & John Whalley, 1994. "The Tax Unit and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 4820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Feenberg, 1995. "The Taxation of Two Earner Families," NBER Working Papers 5155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  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. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2013. "Beyond Ramsey: Gender-Based Taxation with Non-Cooperative Couples," Munich Reprints in Economics 19176, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).

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