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Measuring the Effect of the EITC on Marriage Penalties and Bonuses

  • Janet Holtzblatt
  • Robert Rebelein

Updated March 25, 2001 A revised version of this paper appears as "Measuring the Effect of the EITC on Marriage Penalties and Bonuses." National Tax Journal 53(4) (part 2): 1107-1134. For more information see www.ntanet.org. In 2000, the EITC will increase net marriage penalties by $3.6 billion. Nearly 60 percent of EITC-related new marriage penalties will be attributable to couples who currently do not receive the EITC because their income is above $30,000. However, both aggregate and relative estimates of marriage penalties and bonuses, attributable to the EITC, are very sensitive to assumptions regarding a couple's living arrangements and custody agreements if they do not file joint returns. Recent proposals to provide marriage penalty relief through the EITC are well-targeted to lower-income taxpayers, but vary in their ability to reduce marriage penalties.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 127.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:127
Contact details of provider: Postal: Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637
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  1. Daniel R. Feenberg & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax," NBER Working Papers 4705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Houser, Scott, 1998. "Taxes and Transfers: A New Look at the Marriage Penalty," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 175-217, June.
  3. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A, 1999. "For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 297-316, August.
  4. David T. Ellwood, 1999. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," JCPR Working Papers 124, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Harvey S. Rosen, 1987. "The Marriage Tax is Down But Not Out," NBER Working Papers 2231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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