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Marriage Stability, Taxation and Aggregate Labor Supply in the U.S. vs. Europe

Author

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  • Chakraborty, Indraneel

    (Department of Economics)

  • Stepanchuk, Serhiy

    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

  • Holter, Hans A.

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Americans work more than Europeans. Using micro data from the U.S. and 17 European countries, we study the contributions from demographic subgroups to these aggregate level di erences. We document that women are typically the largest contributors to the discrepancy in work hours. We also document a negative empirical correlation between hours worked and di erent measures of taxation, driven by men, and a positive correlation between hours worked and divorce rates, driven by women. Motivated by these observations, we develop a life-cycle model with heterogeneous agents, marriage and divorce and use it to study the impact of two mechanisms on labor supply: (i) di erences in marriage stability and (ii) di erences in tax systems. We calibrate the model to U.S. data and study how labor supply in the U.S. changes as we introduce European tax systems, and as we replace the U.S. divorce and marriage rates with their European equivalents. We nd that the divorce and tax mechanisms combined explain 58% of the variation in labor supply between the U.S. and the European countries in our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakraborty, Indraneel & Stepanchuk, Serhiy & Holter, Hans A., 2012. "Marriage Stability, Taxation and Aggregate Labor Supply in the U.S. vs. Europe," Working Paper Series 2012:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2012_010
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Bick & Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2018. "Taxation and Labour Supply of Married Couples across Countries: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 1543-1576.
    2. Hans A. Holter & Dirk Krueger & Serhiy Stepanchuk, 2019. "How do tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1317-1356, November.
    3. Bick, Alexander & Brüggemann, Bettina & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Paule-Paludkiewicz, Hannah, 2019. "Long-term changes in married couples' labor supply and taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe since the 1980s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 44-62.
    4. Groneck, Max & Wallenius, Johanna, 2017. "It Sucks to Be Single! Marital Status and Redistribution of Social Security," SSE Working Paper Series in Economics 2017:1, Stockholm School of Economics.
    5. Robert Duval-Hernández & Lei Fang & L. Rachel Ngai, 2018. "Social Subsidies and Marketization – the Role of Gender and Skill," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 962, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Robert Duval-Hernandez & Lei Fang & L. Rachel Ngai, 2021. "Taxes, Subsidies, and Gender Gaps in Hours and Wages," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2021-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    7. Svetlana Vtyurina & Agustin Velasquez, 2019. "How Does Taxation Affect Hours Worked in EU New Member States?," IMF Working Papers 2019/130, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Bick, Alexander & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola, 2012. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women across Countries: A Macroeconomic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Feng, Zhigang & Zhao, Kai, 2018. "Employment-based health insurance and aggregate labor supply," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 156-174.
    10. Behringer, Jan & Gonzalez Granda, Martin & van Treeck, Till, 2022. "Varieties of the rat race: Working hours in the age of abundance," ifso working paper series 17, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute for Socio-Economics (ifso).
    11. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    12. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    13. Tobias Laun & Johanna Wallenius, 2021. "Having It All? Employment, Earnings, and Children," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 353-381, January.
    14. Robert Duval-Hernandez & Lei Fang & L. Rachel Ngai, 2017. "Taxes and Market Hours: The Role of Gender and Skill," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    15. Lei Fang & Fang Yang, 2021. "Consumption and Hours between the United States and France," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2021-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    16. De Dominicis, Piero, 2020. "Routinization and Covid-19: a comparison between United States and Portugal," MPRA Paper 101003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Anne Hannusch, 2019. "Taxing Families: The Impact of Child-related Transfers on Maternal Labor Supply," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2019_067v2, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    18. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    19. Frank T Denton & Byron G Spencer & Terry A Yip, 2020. "Changes and Stability in Marital Status: Evidence from Canadian Income Tax Returns," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-07, McMaster University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregate Labor Supply; Taxation; Marriage; Divorce; Heterogeneous Households;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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