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Optimal Taxation of Married Couples with Household Production

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  • Henrik Jacobsen Kleven

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Claus Thustrup Kreiner

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

The literature suggests that the concern for economic efficiency calls for individual-based taxation of married couples with a higher rate on the primary earner. This paper reconsiders the choice of tax unit in the Becker model of household production. Our aim is to study the robustness of previous results to the modelling of time allocation. In addition, we analyze the interaction between the optimal income tax for couples and the chosen commodity tax structure. In the absence of restrictions on the use of commodity taxes, efficient taxation requires joint taxation of the family. In the presence of restricted commodity taxation, the income tax should compensate for the erroneous commodity taxes. In this case, individual taxation is typically optimal, but not necessarily with a higher rate on primary earners as usually suggested.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 04-10.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:04-10

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2013. "Reducing the excess burden of subsidizing the stork: Joint taxation, individual taxation, and family tax splitting," Munich Reprints in Economics 19213, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.

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