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Reform of Income Splitting for Married Couples: Only Individual Taxation Significantly Increases Working Incentives

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Bach
  • Johannes Geyer
  • Peter Haan
  • Katharina Wrohlich

Abstract

The joint taxation of married couples in Germany with full income splitting is still a major hindrance to the participation of married women in the labor market. In their current financial proposals, the SPD (Social Democratic Party) is calling for income splitting for married couples to be replaced by individual taxation with maintenance deductions, in accordance with existing schemes for divorced spouses. Simulations implemented by DIW Berlin show that such a reform would only have limited effects on distribution and labor supply. Pure individual taxation, however, would not only lead to significant additional tax revenue but would also considerably increase the number of married women participating in the labor market. If politicians take the goal of greater integration of married women in the labor market seriously, then the current income splitting for married couples would have to be replaced by individuation taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Bach & Johannes Geyer & Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2011. "Reform of Income Splitting for Married Couples: Only Individual Taxation Significantly Increases Working Incentives," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 1(5), pages 13-19.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwdeb:2011-5-3
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.388379.de/diw_econ_bull_2011-05-3.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2013. "Reforming Family Taxation in Germany - Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4386, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Schröder, Melanie & Schmitt, Norma & Heynemann, Britta & Brünn, Claudia, 2013. "Income Taxation and Labor Supply: An Experiment on Couple's Work Effort," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79735, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Melanie Schröder & Norma Burow, 2016. "Couple's Labor Supply, Taxes, and the Division of Housework in a Gender-Neutral Lab," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1593, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Working incentives; joint taxation of couples; female labor supply;

    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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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