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On the Optimality of Joint Taxation with Household Production

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  • Henrik Jacobsen Kleven
  • Claus Thustrup Kreiner

Abstract

The existing literature suggests that the concern for economic efficiency calls for individual 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, which includes previous analyses as special cases. In the general framework, where all utility yielding commodities are produced through a combinatiion of market goods and household time, optimal taxation requires joint taxation of the family. This result assumes that there are no restrictions in the use of commodity taxes. In the presence of such restrictions individual taxation is typically optimal. However, this may call for a lower rate on primary earners, unlike the standard result.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner, 2001. "On the Optimality of Joint Taxation with Household Production," CESifo Working Paper Series 605, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_605
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo_wp605.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. 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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    9. Gronau, Reuben, 1973. "The Intrafamily Allocation of Time: The Value of the Housewives' Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 634-651, September.
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    13. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    14. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A, 1999. "For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 297-316, August.
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