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Accounting for the Family: The treatment of marriage and children in European income tax systems

Author

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  • Cathal O’Donoghue
  • Holly Sutherland

Abstract

In some countries family status has little or no impact on the amount of tax that an individual pays. In others the income tax system plays a major role in the redistribution of income among families of different types. This paper examines the treatment of the family in European tax systems. It surveys the various instruments which are used to take account of marriage and the presence of children and describes the current systems in the 15 European Union countries. Tax systems are expected to achieve many things, and the paper discusses the tradeoffs involved in attempting to reconcile conflicting aims, with a particular focus on the impact of the various approaches on the welfare of children.

Suggested Citation

  • Cathal O’Donoghue & Holly Sutherland, 1998. "Accounting for the Family: The treatment of marriage and children in European income tax systems," Papers iopeps98/25, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:iopeps:iopeps98/25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Redmond,Gerry & Sutherland,Holly & Wilson,Moira, 1998. "The Arithmetic of Tax and Social Security Reform," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632249, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Santosh Mehrotra, 2000. "Integrating Economic and Social Policy: Good practices from high achieving countries," Papers inwopa00/9, Innocenti Working Papers.
    2. Lisa Cameron, 2001. "The Impact Of The Indonesian Financial Crisis On Children: An Analysis Using The 100 Villages Data," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 43-64.
    3. Lisa A. Cameron, 2001. "An Analysis of the Role of Social Safety Net Scholarships in Reducing School Drop-Out during the Indonesian Economic Crisis," Papers inwopa01/11, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Santosh Mehrotra & Mario Biggeri, 2002. "The Subterranean Child Labour Force: Subcontracted home-based manufacturing in Asia," Papers inwopa02/23, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Stephens, Melvin Jr & Ward-Batts, Jennifer, 2004. "The impact of separate taxation on the intra-household allocation of assets: evidence from the UK," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1989-2007.
    6. Santosh Mehrotra & Mario Biggeri, 2002. "Social Protection in the Informal Economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufacturing in Asia," Papers inwopa02/24, Innocenti Working Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    family income; income distribution; income redistribution; tax systems;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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