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Taxes and Time Allocation: Evidence from Single Women

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  • Gelber, Alexander M.
  • Mitchell, Joshua W.

Abstract

Hundreds of papers have investigated how incentives and policies affect hours worked in the market. This paper examines how income taxes affect time allocation in the other two-thirds of the day. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1975 to 2004, we analyze the response of single women's housework, labor supply, and other time to variation in tax and transfer schedules across income levels, number of children, states, and time. We find that when the economic reward to participating in the labor force increases, market work increases and housework decreases, with the decrease in housework accounting for approximately two-thirds of the increase in market work. Analysis of repeated cross-sections of time diary data from 1975 to 2004 shows that changes in "home production" account for at least half of the increase in market hours of work in response to policy changes. Data on expenditures from the Consumer Expenditure Survey from 1980 to 2003 show some evidence that expenditures on market goods likely to substitute for housework increase in response to a greater incentive to join the labor force. The baseline estimates imply that the elasticity of substitution between consumption of home and market goods is 2.43. The results are consistent with the classic time allocation model of Becker (1965).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19148.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19148

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Keywords: taxation; time allocation; labor supply; housework; home production; leisure;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Ichino, Andrea & Lindström, Elly-Ann & Viviano, Eliana, 2014. "Hidden consequences of a first-born boy for mothers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 274-278.
  2. Edmark, Karin & Liang, Che-Yuan & Selin, Håkan & Mörk, Eva, 2012. "Evaluation of the Swedish earned income tax credit," Working Paper Series 2012:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Abby Alpert & David Powell, 2012. "Tax Elasticity of Labor Earnings for Older Individuals," Working Papers wp272, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Hilary W. Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & David Simon, 2012. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 18206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2010. "Labor wedges and open economy puzzles," MPRA Paper 31370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Mariya Mileva, 2013. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Response to Shifts in the Beveridge Curve," Kiel Working Papers 1823, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Edmark, Karin & Liang, Che-Yuan & Mörk, Eva & Selin, Håkan, 2012. "An Evaluation of the Swedish Earned Income Tax Credit," Working Paper Series 901, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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