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Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France

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  • Leturcq, Marion

Abstract

Although the tax system is not marriage neutral in many countries, it has been found to be only slightly significant in determining marriage decisions (Buffeteau and Echevin, 2003; Alm and Whittington, 1995). This paper tests whether the tax system can alter the decision to contract a civil union, which is less binding than a marital contract. In 1999, France introduced civil union (pacs) as an alternative legal union to marriage. I assess the impact of taxation on the decision to contract a pacs using a difference-in-differences evaluation of the 2005 income tax reform for newly pacsed couples. As the control group is contaminated by the reform, I propose an original estimation method based on a difference-in-differences-in-differences setting to estimate bounds to the impact of the reform. My results find a positive and increasing impact of taxation on pacs rates, but also a change in the timing of pacs unions suggesting that taxation alters the decision to contract a pacs. In addition, I find a slightly significant impact of taxation on the decision to terminate a pacs.

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  • Leturcq, Marion, 2012. "Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 541-552.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:5:p:541-552
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.02.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Leturcq, Marion, 2012. "Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 541-552.
    2. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1228, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Barigozzi, Francesca & Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2017. "Until taxes do us part: tax penalties or bonuses and the marriage decision," CEPR Discussion Papers 12396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil union; Taxation; Marriage; Pacs; Difference in difference;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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