Shacking Up or Shelling Out: Income Taxes, Marriage, and Cohabitation
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the income tax penalty associated with marriage contributes to the decision of a couple to live together as a married vs. a cohabiting couple. In this paper, we use household data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics to estimate the impact of various factors, including the federal individual income tax, on a couple's decision to marry instead of cohabit. We find that the initial decision to form either a cohabiting or a married union is only marginally affected by the income tax consequences of one form of union vs. another, and other factors play a more important role. However, for those already living together as a cohabiting couple, the decision to make the transition from a cohabiting to a married couple is significantly affected by the tax consequences of such a move. Here, an increase in the income tax at legal marriage, or an increase in the marginal tax rate with marriage, has a statistically significant and negative impact on the probability of transition from cohabitation to legal marriage. However, the magnitude of the tax impact is generally small, and several other variables are more important determinants. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/microeconomics/journal/11150/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Marriage: Part II,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
- 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.
- Whittington, L.A. & Peters, H.E., 1989.
"Fertility And The Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy In The United States,"
University of Chicago - Economics Research Center
89-6, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Whittington, Leslie A & Alm, James & Peters, H Elizabeth, 1990. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 545-56, June.
- Leslie A. Whittington & James Alm & H. Elizabeth Peters, . "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 89-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Sean Becketti & William Gould & Lee Lillard & Finis Welch, 1985. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics After Fourteen Years: An Evaluation," UCLA Economics Working Papers 361, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
- Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Scott Houser, 2002. "How well can we track cohabitation using the sipp? A consideration of direct and inferred measures," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 455-465, August.
- Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Amitabh Chandra, 1999. "Taxes and the Timing of Birth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 161-177, February.
- Larry Bumpass & James Sweet, 1989. "National Estimates of Cohabitation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(4), pages 615-625, November.
- Waters, Melissa S. & Ressler, Rand W., 1999. "An economic model of cohabitation and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 195-206, October.
- Linda Waite, 1995. "Does marriage matter?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(4), pages 483-507, November.
- Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A, 1999. "For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 297-316, August.
- Lynne Casper & Philip Cohen, 2000. "How does POSSLQ measure up? Historical estimates of cohabitation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 237-245, May.
- Sjoquist, David L. & Walker, Mary Beth, 1995. "The Marriage Tax and the Rate and Timing of Marriage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 547-58, December.
- Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1997. "Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 219-240, May.
- Nancy Landale & Renata Forste, 1991. "Patterns of Entry into Cohabitation and Marriage Among Mainland Puerto Rican Women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(4), pages 587-607, November.
- Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 175-217, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:1:y:2003:i:3:p:169-186. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.