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Taxing women: A macroeconomic analysis

  • Guner, Nezih
  • Kaygusuz, Remzi
  • Ventura, Gustavo

Based on well-known evidence on labor supply elasticities, several authors have concluded that women should be taxed at lower rates than men. We evaluate the quantitative implications and merits of this proposition. Relative to the current system of taxation, setting a proportional tax rate on married females equal to 4% (8%) increases output and married female labor force participation by about 3.9% (3.4%) and 6.9% (4.0%), respectively. Gender-based taxes improve welfare and are preferred by a majority of households. Nevertheless, welfare gains are higher when the U.S. tax system is replaced by a proportional, gender-neutral income tax.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 59 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 111-128

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:59:y:2012:i:1:p:111-128
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  1. Virginia Sanchez-Marcos & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low, 2004. "Explaining Changes in Female Labour Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," 2004 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework," NBER Working Papers 15257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," CEPR Discussion Papers 5978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980–2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 393-438.
  5. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  6. Bradley T. Heim, 2007. "The Incredible Shrinking Elasticities: Married Female Labor Supply, 1978–2002," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
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  8. Alberto Alesina & Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Gender-Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40, May.
  9. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Cho, Jang-Ok & Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Family labor supply and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 233-245.
  12. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2012. "Taxation and Household Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1113-1149.
  13. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2011. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Basic Facts," IZA Discussion Papers 5549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 2000. "Homework in labor economics: Household production and intertemporal substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 557-579, December.
  15. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  16. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  17. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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