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Would you civil union me?

  • Marion Leturcq


    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

Although the tax system is not marriage neutral in many countries, it has been found only slightly significant in determining marriage decision (Buffeteau and Echevin, 2003; Alm and Whittington, 1995). This paper tests if the tax system could alter the decision to contract a civil union, which is a less binding marital contract. In France, since 1999, couples can either contract a marriage or a civil union (pacs). I assess the impact of taxation on the decision to contract a pacs using a difference-in-differences evaluation of the 2005 reform of income taxation of newly pacsed couples. As the control group is contaminated by the reform, I propose an original estimation method based on a difference-in-differences-in-differences setting to estimate bounds to the impact of the reform. My results suggest a positive and increasing impact of taxation on pacs rates, but also a change in the timing of pacs indicating that taxation alters the decision to contract a pacs. I find a slightly significant impact of taxation on the decision to break up a pacs.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00628642.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00628642
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  1. Valérie Mignon & Christophe Hurlin, 2005. "Une synthèse des tests de racine unitaire sur données de panel," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 169(3), pages 253-294.
  2. Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, . "Income Taxation and Marital Decisions," Working Papers 2133479, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  3. Élise Amar & Sophie Guérin, 2007. "Se marier ou non : le droit fiscal peut-il aider à choisir ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 401(1), pages 23-37.
  4. Marion Leturcq, 2011. "Would you civil union me?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00628642, HAL.
  5. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
  6. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, 02.
  7. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and divorce: changes and their driving forces," Working Paper Series 2007-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. François Legendre & Florence Thibault, 2007. "Les concubins et l’impôt sur le revenu en France," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 401(1), pages 3-21.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  10. 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.
  11. Mircea Trandafir, 2009. "The effect of same-sex marriage laws on different-sex marriage: Evidence from The Netherlands," Cahiers de recherche 09-23, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke, revised Feb 2012.
  12. 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.
  13. Steffen Reinhold, 2010. "Reassessing the link between premarital cohabitation and marital instability," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 719-733, August.
  14. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
  16. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1996. "The Rise and Fall and Rise ... of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 571-89, December.
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:249-275 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. 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..
  19. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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