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Optimal Taxation of Married Couples with Household Production

  • Henrik Jacobsen Kleven
  • Claus Thustrup Kreiner

The literature suggests that the concern for economic efficiency calls for individual-based taxation of married couples with a higher rate on the primary earner. This paper reconsiders the choice of tax unit in the Becker model of household production. In the absence of restrictions on the use of commodity taxes, efficient taxation requires joint taxation of the family. In the presence of restricted commodity taxation, the income tax should compensate for the erroneous commodity taxes. In this case, individual taxation is typically optimal, but not necessarily with a higher rate on primary earners as usually suggested.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 63 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 498-518

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200712)63:4_498:otomcw_2.0.tx_2-c
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  1. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
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