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Gender Bias in Tax Systems Based on Household Income

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  • Yuri Andrienko
  • Patricia Apps
  • Ray Rees

Abstract

The assumption that household income is strongly and positively correlated with a household's real standard of living provides the basis for the joint taxation of families, which has the effect of discriminating against married women as second earners. This paper shows, in the context of a model of the household with young children present, that this assumption is not tenable. The fact that there is considerable heterogeneity in female labour supply which cannot be explained by wage rates and the number and ages of children requires us to look for other explanations, and we argue that these can be found in the variation of child care costs and productivities across households. When these are taken into account, we show, by theoretical modelling and numerical simulations based on survey data, that household income is a poor indicator of household well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuri Andrienko & Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2015. "Gender Bias in Tax Systems Based on Household Income," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 141-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2015:i:117-118:p:141-155
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.117-118.141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petter Lundborg; & Anton Nilsson; & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2012. "Parental education and offspring outcomes: evidence from the Swedish compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
    3. Apps,Patricia & Rees,Ray, 2009. "Public Economics and the Household," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521716284, July.
    4. Martin Feldstein & Daniel R. Feenberg, 1996. "The Taxation of Two-Earner Families," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 39-75, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2012. "Married with Children: A Collective Labor Supply Model with Detailed Time Use and Intrahousehold Expenditure Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3377-3405, December.
    6. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2010. "Family labor supply, taxation and saving in an imperfect capital market," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 297-323, September.
    9. Richard Blundell & Pierre-André Chiappori & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Collective Labor Supply with Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1277-1306, December.
    10. Apps, Patricia, 1982. "Institutional inequality and tax incidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 217-242, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marisa Bucheli & Cecilia Olivieri, 2017. "Gendered Effects of the Personal Income Tax: Evidence from a Schedular System with Individual Filing in a Developing Country," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0217, Department of Economics - dECON.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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