IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Love and taxes - and matching institutions


  • Kai A. Konrad
  • Kjell Erik Lommerud


Income disparities and the intra-family redistribution implied by a marriage may induce a high-income earner to abstain from marrying a low-income earner even though they would be a perfect match emotionally. Redistributive income taxation eases this problem, and the design of marriage matching institutions interacts with this role of redistributive taxation. Matching institutions that ensure that people largely from the same income groups meet each other can substitute for redistribution. Matching across income groups that focuses on emotional quality or preference congruence of the match may increase the efficiency-enhancing role of taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai A. Konrad & Kjell Erik Lommerud, 2010. "Love and taxes - and matching institutions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 919-940, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:3:p:919-940

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Available to subscribers only. Alternative access through JSTOR and Ingenta.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raquel Fernández & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2005. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 273-344.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    3. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, May.
    4. Corneo, Giacomo, 2002. "The efficient side of progressive income taxation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1359-1368, July.
    5. Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2005. "'Birds of a Feather Flock Together': The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 491-515, September.
    6. Dan Anderberg, 2004. "Getting Hitched: The Equilibrium Marriage Market Behaviour of a British Cohort," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/12, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jul 2004.
    7. Dan Anderberg, 2001. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Marriage, Divorce and Risk-Sharing," CESifo Working Paper Series 555, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Hochman, Harold M & Rodgers, James D, 1974. "Redistribution and the Pareto Criterion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 752-757, September.
    9. Kai A. Konrad & Kjell Erik Lommerud, 2000. "The bargaining family revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 471-487, May.
    10. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 1999. "On the taxation of trade within and between households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 241-263, August.
    11. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
    12. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-732, August.
    13. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 307-334, June.
    14. Kai A. Konrad & Harald Künemund & Kjell Erik Lommerud & Julio R. Robledo, 2002. "Geography of the Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 981-998, September.
    15. Schroyen, Fred, 2003. "Redistributive taxation and the household: the case of individual filings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2527-2547, October.
    16. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
    17. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    18. Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
    19. 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.
    20. Pahl, Jan, 1995. "His money, her money: Recent research on financial organisation in marriage," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 361-376, September.
    21. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2011. "Public Spending and Taxation with Non-cooperative Families," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(2), pages 259-282, June.
    22. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
    23. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
    24. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Divorce, Remarriage, and Welfare: A General Equilibrium Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 415-426, 04-05.
    25. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Sorting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 659-679, July.
    26. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1995. "Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 91-101, March.
    27. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
    28. Lena Edlund, 2006. "Marriage: Past, Present, Future?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 621-639, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Kai Konrad, 2015. "Affection, speed dating and heartbreaking," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 159-172, January.
    2. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia & Mammini, Claudio, 2013. "On the causes and consequences of divorce," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Man Si, 2015. "Intrafamily bargaining and love," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 771-789, December.
    4. Dan Anderberg & Yu Zhu, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Marital Status and Partner Characteristics: Evidence from the UK," CESifo Working Paper Series 3104, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Dan Anderberg & Yu Zhu, 2014. "What a difference a term makes: the effect of educational attainment on marital outcomes in the UK," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 387-419, April.
    6. Aloys Prinz, 2010. "Labor markets and mating markets: Using taxes to reduce the male–female pay gap," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 43-53, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:3:p:919-940. 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: (Prof. Werner Antweiler). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.