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Relational Contracts, Taxation and the Household

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Author Info

  • Apps, Patricia

    ()
    (University of Sydney)

  • Rees, Ray

    ()
    (University of Munich)

Abstract

This paper applies the theory of relational contracts to make precise the idea that because households are engaged in a repeated non-cooperative game, Pareto efficient outcomes can be supported by self interest, given the specific pattern of specialisation and exchange which exists in the household. The household's choice of a particular solution from the resulting feasible set is found by the maximisation of a household welfare function, a generalisation of a suggestion originally made by Samuelson. This nests as special cases the objective functions used in currently popular models of households engaged in one-shot cooperative games. We take a specific example of such a household welfare function, characterise the determinants of the household utility distribution, and then apply the model to examine the effects of a move from joint to individual taxation. We show that on standard stylised facts, secondary earners are always better off absolutely, and define the conditions under which they will also be so relatively. This confirms the conclusions from models which concern themselves only with the across-household welfare distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4189.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: CESifo Economic Studies, 2011, 57 (2), 245-258
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4189

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Related research

Keywords: welfare distribution; taxation; allocations; households; relational contracts;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Gender-Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40, May.
  2. Apps,Patricia & Rees,Ray, 2009. "Public Economics and the Household," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521716284, April.
  3. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  4. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
  5. Pollak, Robert A, 1985. "A Transaction Cost Approach to Families and Households," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 581-608, June.
  6. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  7. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  8. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2007. "The Taxation of Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 2910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  10. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  11. Patricia Apps & Ngo Van Long & Ray Rees, 2009. "Optimal Piecewise Linear Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2565, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  13. W. Bentley MacLeod & James Malcomson, 1997. "Motivation and Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 339., Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-48, October.
  15. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  16. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  17. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1998. "On the Taxation of Trade Within and Between Households," Papers 337, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2012. "On the optimality of joint taxation for noncooperative couples," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 633-641.

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