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'Til Death or Taxes Do Us Part: The Effect of Income Taxation on Divorce

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  • Leslie A. Whittington
  • James Alm

Abstract

The effect of taxes on divorce has not been considered in previous empirical work on divorce. In this paper we examine the impact of the individual income tax on the likelihood of divorce. Using data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics, we estimate a discrete-time hazard model of the probability of divorce from the first marriage. We find that couples respond to tax incentives in their decision to divorce, although these responses are typically small. We also estimate the impact of taxes on the separate divorce decisions of men and women. These results indicate that women clearly respond to tax incentives in their divorce decisions; the results for men are not always statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Leslie A. Whittington & James Alm, 1997. "'Til Death or Taxes Do Us Part: The Effect of Income Taxation on Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 388-412.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:2:p:388-412
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Verdelin, Nicolaj, 2008. "An evaluation of the tax-transfer treatment of married couples in European countries," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/08, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. 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.
    3. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2014. "Can Pro-Marriage Policies Work? An Analysis of Marginal Marriages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1357-1379, August.
    4. repec:kap:jfamec:v:38:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-016-9507-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Art of Labormetrics," NBER Working Papers 6927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2013. "Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the “Seven Year Itch”?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(6), pages 851-891, December.
    7. Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "Families, Taxes and the Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 7369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
    9. Fisher, Hayley & Zhu, Anna, 2016. "The Effect of Changing Financial Incentives on Repartnering," IZA Discussion Papers 10243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. S. Dickert-Conlin & S. Houser, "undated". "EITC, AFDC, and the Female Headship Decision," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1192-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    11. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(2), pages 175-217, June.
    12. Fink, Alexander, 2016. "Income taxation and the timing of marriage," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145827, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Michael J. Brien & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & David A. Weaver, 2004. "Widows Waiting to Wed?: (Re)Marriage and Economic Incentives in Social Security Widow Benefits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    14. repec:taf:oaefxx:v:5:y:2017:i:1:p:1348327 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Nancy R. Burstein, 2007. "Economic influences on marriage and divorce," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 387-429.
    16. Matthias Wrede, 2000. "Income Splitting – is it Good for Both Partners in the Marriage?," CESifo Working Paper Series 391, CESifo Group Munich.

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