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On the optimality of joint taxation for noncooperative couples

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  • Meier, Volker
  • Rainer, Helmut

Abstract

We present a noncooperative model of a family’s time allocation between work and a home-produced public good, and examine whether the income tax should apply to couples or individuals. While tax-induced labor supply distortions lead to overprovision of the public good, spouses’ failure to internalize the collective effect of their choices points towards underprovision. A large parameter range exists for which a move from individual to joint taxation improves the welfare of both spouses. The source of Pareto-improvement consists in moving the level of the public good closer to its first-best, while an adjustment of intra-family transfers compensates the secondary earner for the increased tax load.

Suggested Citation

  • Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2012. "On the optimality of joint taxation for noncooperative couples," Munich Reprints in Economics 19177, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rainer, Helmut, 2007. "Should we write prenuptial contracts?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 337-363, February.
    2. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 537-560, March.
    3. Volker Meier & Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Reducing the excess burden of subsidizing the stork: joint taxation, individual taxation, and family tax splitting," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1195-1207, July.
    4. Apps,Patricia & Rees,Ray, 2009. "Public Economics and the Household," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521716284.
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    20. repec:hrv:faseco:30752834 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Volker Meier, 2013. "One-sided private provision of public goods with implicit Lindahl pricing," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 181-186, October.
    2. Paula GOBBI, 2013. "Childcare and Commitment within Households," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013019, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2010. "Global Warming And Extreme Events: Rethinking The Timing And Intensity Of Environmental Policy," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 236, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    4. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Beyond Ramsey: Gender-Based Taxation with Non-Cooperative Couples," CESifo Working Paper Series 3966, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Hermann Buslei & Katharina Wrohlich, 2014. "Besteuerung von Paaren: das Ehegattensplitting und seine Alternativen," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 21, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Paula Gobbi, 2014. "Childcare and commitment within households," 2014 Meeting Papers 633, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Volker Meier & Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Reducing the excess burden of subsidizing the stork: joint taxation, individual taxation, and family tax splitting," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1195-1207, July.
    8. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2015. "Pigou meets Ramsey: Gender-based taxation with non-cooperative couples," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 28-46.
    9. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2013. "Reforming Family Taxation in Germany - Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4386, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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