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Joint Taxation and the Labour Supply of Married Women: Evidence from the Canadian Tax Reform of 1988

  • Thomas F. Crossley
  • Sung-Hee Jeon

The Canadian federal tax reform of 1988 replaced a spousal tax exemption with a non-refundable tax credit. This reduced the "jointness" of the tax system: after the reform, secondary earners' effective "first dollar" marginal tax rates no longer depended on the marginal tax rates of their spouses. In practice, the effective "first dollar" marginal tax rates faced by women with high income husbands were particularly reduced. Using difference-in-difference estimators, we find a significant increase in labour force participation among women married to higher income husbands.

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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 149.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:149
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  1. LaLumia, Sara, 2008. "The effects of joint taxation of married couples on labor supply and non-wage income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1698-1719, July.
  2. Richard P. Chaykowski & Lisa M. Powell, 1999. "Women and the Labour Market: Recent Trends and Policy Issues," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 2-25, November.
  3. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  4. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1996. "The Tax Unit and Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 398-418, April.
  6. Gerald Auten & Robert Carroll, 1999. "The Effect Of Income Taxes On Household Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 681-693, November.
  7. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  8. 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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