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Income Tax Design and the Desirability of Subsidies to Secondary Workers in a Household Model with Joint and Non-Joint Time

  • Edgar Cudmore
  • John Piggott
  • John Whalley

In this paper we analyze income tax design in a two member household labor supply model where time spent on consumption together by the two household members is valued differently from time spent apart. We treat consumption as a non excludable public good to members of the household; one example would be where all household members or one alone can watch TV. When jointly consumed, however, TV services are valued more highly than the same consumption undertaken separately. We use this model to numerically investigate the welfare implications of different tax structures. In sharp contrast to existing literature, our results suggest the desirability of subsidizing secondary worker's labor supply. We also relate our discussion to existing individual-household tax unit literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13503.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13503
Note: LS PE
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  1. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1993. "Labour Supply, Household Production and Intra-Family Welfare Distribution," Working Papers 1993-3, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.
  6. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  7. Courtney Coile, 2003. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dawkins, Christina & Srinivasan, T.N. & Whalley, John, 2001. "Calibration," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 58, pages 3653-3703 Elsevier.
  9. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Social security, pensions and retirement behaviour within the family," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 723-737.
  10. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pozzebon, Silvana & Mitchell, Olivia S, 1989. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 39-53.
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