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A Cross-Country Comparison of the Impact of Labor Income Tax on Female Labor Supply

Author

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  • Marina Mendes

    () (Centro de Investigación Económica (CIE), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM))

Abstract

Macroeconomists have long been interested in understanding differences in hours worked across countries. Prescott (2004) shows that differences in labor income tax explain the majority of the difference in hours worked between the United States and European countries. In this paper we go one step further in quantifying the impact of labor income tax on differences in hours worked between the United States and European countries. First, we decompose hours worked by gender and marital status, and we find that females are responsible for more than half of the difference in hours worked. Within females, we find that married females are responsible for more than half of the difference in hours worked. Second, given these findings, we quantify the impact of differences in labor income tax in explaining differences in aggregate hours worked. The main contribution of this paper is that we do not restrict the analysis of differences in labor income tax to differences in the progressivity of the tax schedule but we also incorporate differences in the treatment of secondary earners across countries. As a result, we find that differences in labor income tax explain two thirds of the difference in aggregate hours worked across countries, and we also find that differences in the treatment of secondary earner explain two thirds of the difference in hours worked between married and single females.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Mendes, 2013. "A Cross-Country Comparison of the Impact of Labor Income Tax on Female Labor Supply," Working Papers 1302, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  • Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:1302
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
    2. Nada Eissa, 1995. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Remzi Kaygusuz, 2010. "Taxes and Female Labor Supply," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 725-741, October.
    4. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2008. "Taxation, Aggregates and the Household," CEPR Discussion Papers 6702, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Serdar Ozkan & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "Taxation of Human Capital and Cross-Country Trends in Wage Inequality," 2009 Meeting Papers 1170, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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