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Taxes and Marriage: A Two-Sided Search Analysis

This paper studies the effects of differential tax treatment toward married and single individuals in the US on marriage formation and composition, divorce and labor supply. We develop a marriage market model with search frictions and heterogeneous agents that is sufficiently rich to capture key elements of the problem under consideration. We then calibrate the model and use it to evaluate the quantitative effects of a number of tax reforms aimed at making the tax law neutral with respect to marital status. We find that reforms can have substantial effects on the labor supply of married females and on the degree of assortative mating.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in its series Working Papers with number 2132862.

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Handle: RePEc:asu:wpaper:2132862
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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, . "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Inocome," Penn CARESS Working Papers 65f9ffed93b3a872de23c94c2, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Teresa Martin & Larry Bumpass, 1989. "Recent trends in marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 37-51, February.
  4. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
  6. Kenneth Burdett & Randall Wright, 1994. "Two-sided search," Staff Report 169, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  8. Hector Chade, . "Two-Sided Search and Perfect Segregation with Fixed Search Costs," Working Papers 2132861, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  9. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  10. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. 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..
  13. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1999. "The impact of wives’ earnings on income inequality: Issues and estimates," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(2), pages 173-184, May.
  14. Berliant, Marcus & Rothstein, Paul, 2003. "Possibility, Impossibility, and History in the Origins of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(2), pages 303-17, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
  17. Bloch, Francis & Ryder, Harl, 2000. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages, and Matchmakers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 93-115, February.
  18. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  19. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  20. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1995. "Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 565-72, December.
  21. 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.
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