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Does Taxation Affect Marriage and Family Planning Decisions?

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  • Kei Sakata

    (Ritsumeikan University)

  • Colin. R. McKenzie

    (Keio University)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of taxes on the timing of births and marriages in Japan using the "National Survey on Families" (Kazoku ni tsuite no Zenkoku Chousa). We estimate the average effect of the income tax deduction for dependents on the timing of births for those parents who are most likely to be affected by the tax deduction. Rather than estimating the average effects of the tax deduction on the timing of births for all parents, we focus only on those who are likely to be able to time their children's birth. In order to do this, we use a new control group, namely, those mothers whose age at the time of birth is 35 or older. It is assumed that for biological reasons they cannot time conception, whereas their younger counterparts are likely to time conception. The analysis of the effects of income tax deductions for spouses on the timing of marriage is an understudied area. Little attention has been paid to the impact of taxes on individual marriage decisions. Like the analysis of the timing of births, we estimate the average effect of the income tax deductions on the timing of marriages for those women who are most likely to be affected by the tax deduction policy. For this reason, women who have never worked before are the focus of this paper's analysis. There is some evidence to suggest that Japanese couples time conception to obtain some economic benefits associated with the deduction for dependents. However, the size of the effect is found to be rather small. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that the spouse deduction affects the decision of when to marry.

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File URL: http://ies.keio.ac.jp/old_project/old/gcoe-econbus/pdf/dp/DP2010-003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program in its series Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series with number 2010-003.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kei:dpaper:2010-003

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  1. 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.
  2. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2001. "Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 8158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
  4. Burman, Leonard E & Randolph, William C, 1994. "Measuring Permanent Responses to Capital-Gains Tax Changes in Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 794-809, September.
  5. Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Amitabh Chandra, 1999. "Taxes and the Timing of Birth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 161-177, February.
  6. James Alm & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Leslie A. Whittington, 1999. "Policy Watch: The Marriage Penalty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 193-204, Summer.
  7. Gelardi, Alexander M.G., 1996. "The Influence of Tax Law Changes on the Timing of Marriages: A Two-Country Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(1), pages 17-30, March.
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