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Home production and the welfare cost of labour supply tax distortions


  • John Whalley
  • Kai Zhao


The traditional model of household labour supply incorporates leisure into preferences rather than focusing on how relative costs of production at home and via market activity determine market labour supply. In part, this reflects the lack of simple closed form solutions for the home production model. This article uses numerical techniques to compare the welfare costs of tax distortions of labour supply in models with and without home production. When observationally equivalent models of each type are calibrated to the same aggregate labour supply elasticity, the home production model of labour supply produces a much smaller welfare cost of tax distortions of labour supply than the standard model. Our results thus suggest that home production is important for understanding the welfare effects of labour tax policies.

Suggested Citation

  • John Whalley & Kai Zhao, 2013. "Home production and the welfare cost of labour supply tax distortions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 92-95, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:20:y:2013:i:1:p:92-95
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2012.667545

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