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Love and taxes - and matching institutions

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Lommerud, Kjell Erik

Abstract

We study a setting with search frictions in the marriage market and with incomplete contracting inside the family. Everyone prefers a partner that has high income and is a perfect emotional match, but compromises must often be struck. A high income earner may abstain from marrying a low-income earner even though they would be a perfect match emotionally, because the highincome earner may dislike the implicit income redistribution implied by the marriage. Redistributive income taxation may ease this problem. Income matching institutions that secure that people largely from the same income groups meet each other can substitute for redistribution, so that optimal redistribution is reduced. We also introduce a divorce option. Redistributive taxation is shown both to further and stabilize marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad, Kai A. & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 2008. "Love and taxes - and matching institutions," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-04, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200804
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    Cited by:

    1. Aloys Prinz, 2010. "Labor markets and mating markets: Using taxes to reduce the male–female pay gap," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 43-53, April.
    2. Kai Konrad, 2015. "Affection, speed dating and heartbreaking," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 159-172, January.
    3. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia & Mammini, Claudio, 2013. "On the causes and consequences of divorce," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-9.
    4. Man Si, 2015. "Intrafamily bargaining and love," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 771-789, December.
    5. Dan Anderberg & Yu Zhu, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Marital Status and Partner Characteristics: Evidence from the UK," CESifo Working Paper Series 3104, CESifo.
    6. Dan Anderberg & Yu Zhu, 2014. "What a difference a term makes: the effect of educational attainment on marital outcomes in the UK," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 387-419, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; optimal taxation; emotional rents; love; incomplete contracts; assortative mating; divorce;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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