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Taxes and Marriage: A Two-Sided Search Analysis

This paper studies the effects of differential tax treatment toward married and single individuals in the US on marriage formation and composition, divorce and labor supply. We develop a marriage market model with search frictions and heterogeneous agents that is sufficiently rich to capture key elements of the problem under consideration. We then calibrate the model and use it to evaluate the quantitative effects of a number of tax reforms aimed at making the tax law neutral with respect to marital status. We find that reforms can have substantial effects on the labor supply of females and on the degree of assortative mating.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics in its series UWO Department of Economics Working Papers with number 200015.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:200015
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/department_working_papers.html

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  1. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  2. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  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. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  5. Sjoquist, David L. & Walker, Mary Beth, 1995. "The Marriage Tax and the Rate and Timing of Marriage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 547-58, December.
  6. Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
  7. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, . "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Inocome," CARESS Working Papres 99-05, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  8. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  9. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  10. Chade, Hector, 2001. "Two-sided search and perfect segregation with fixed search costs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 31-51, July.
  11. Berliant, Marcus & Rothstein, Paul, 2003. "Possibility, Impossibility, and History in the Origins of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(2), pages 303-17, June.
  12. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Kenneth Burdett & Randall Wright, 1994. "Two-sided search," Staff Report 169, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  15. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1997. "Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 219-240, May.
  16. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  17. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1999. "The impact of wives’ earnings on income inequality: Issues and estimates," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 173-184, May.
  18. Teresa Martin & Larry Bumpass, 1989. "Recent trends in marital disruption," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 37-51, February.
  19. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  20. BLOCH, Francis & RYDER, Harl, 1994. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages and Matchmakers," CORE Discussion Papers 1994028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  21. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1995. "Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 565-72, December.
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