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Taxation And Labour Supply

Author

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  • Patricia Apps

Abstract

Cross country comparisons of lifecycle labour supplies show that female hours of market work are significantly lower in Australia than in other comparable OECD countries, notably, the US, UK and Sweden. This paper argues that an explanation can be found in the rate structure of the Australian family income tax system, in combination with a poorly developed and costly childcare sector. A detailed analysis of marginal and average tax rates shows how various policy instruments are used to set rates on the income of a second earner, typically the female partner, that reduce her net wage to a level that makes it difficult to finance childcare from the additional income. The system is also shown to be unfair. The paper proposes a return to a progressive individual income tax, with universal family benefits, together with the development of a high quality, education oriented, public sector childcare system.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Apps, 2007. "Taxation And Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 560, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:560
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP560.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sumru Altu─č & Robert A. Miller, 1998. "The Effect of Work Experience on Female Wages and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 45-85.
    2. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2005. "Gender, Time Use, and Public Policy over the Life Cycle," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 439-461, Autumn.
    3. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
    4. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 1999. "On the taxation of trade within and between households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 241-263, August.
    5. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1989. "Dynamic Labour Force Participation of Married Women and Endogenous Work Experience," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 375-390.
    6. Apps, Patricia, 1991. "Tax Reform, Population Ageing and the Changing Labour Supply Behaviour of Married Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 4(3), pages 201-216, August.
    7. Kathryn Shaw, 1994. "The Persistence of Female Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 348-378.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ausecr:v:49:y:2016:i:4:p:494-502 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Patricia Apps, 2009. "Tax Reform, Targeting and the Tax Burden on Women," CEPR Discussion Papers 609, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income Taxes; Time Allocation; Labor Supply; Life Cycle Choices;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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