Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Tax Unit and Household Production

Contents:

Author Info

  • John Piggott
  • John Whalley

Abstract

The conventional wisdom is that taxing individuals rather than households is superior from an efficiency point of view under progressive income taxation. This is because it leads to secondary workers, whose labour supply elasticity is high, being taxed at a lower marginal rate than primary workers, whose labour supply elasticity is low. But once household production is taken into account, things are more complicated since tax design should also not distort the input use of family members' time in household production. We use a simple general equilibrium model of household production parameterized using Australian data whose results clearly show that welfare effects can be either positive or negative when changing an existing income tax from an individual to a household basis. In so doing, we are able to investigate the comparative static effects of changing the tax unit from an individual to the household basis in a richer model than that used thus far in the literature, since we capture both Ramsey considerations from differential labour supply elasticities, and factor input distortions into household production. Our results challenge conventional wisdom, and suggest that household unit taxation deserves more sympathetic consideration than is currently the case.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4820.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4820.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Aug 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 104, no. 2 (April 1996): 398-418.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4820

Note: PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Daniel R. Feenberg & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax," NBER Working Papers 4705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  3. Boskin, Michael J., 1975. "Efficiency aspects of the differential tax treatment of market and household economic activity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, February.
  4. Wales, Terence J & Woodland, A D, 1977. "Estimation of the Allocation of Time for Work, Leisure, and Housework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 115-32, January.
  5. Wales, T J & Woodland, A D, 1976. "Estimation of Household Utility Functions and Labor Supply Response," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 397-410, June.
  6. Berndt, Ernst R, 1976. "Reconciling Alternative Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 59-68, February.
  7. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  9. Kay, J. A., 1980. "The deadweight loss from a tax system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-119, February.
  10. Rosen, Harvey S, 1978. "The Measurement of Excess Burden with Explicit Utility Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S121-35, April.
  11. Haurin, Donald R & Hendershott, Patric H & Kim, Dongwook, 1993. "The Impact of Real Rents and Wages on Household Formation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-93, May.
  12. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4820. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.