EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Taxation of Couples

Patricia Frances Apps () and Ray Rees

Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the question of how couples should be taxed. One reason for the importance of this issue is simply that the overwhelming majority of individuals live in households formed around couples, and so it could be argued that empirically, this is the single most important problem in personal income taxation. A second reason is that the economic theory of optimal taxation and tax reform, at least as it is presented in the mainstream literature, provides little guidance on this issue, resting as it does on models of the single person household. An old insight in the earlier public .nance literature is that any discussion of the taxation of two-person households necessarily involves the recognition of the importance of household production. In this paper we try to show how a simple model of household production can be used to help the analysis of optimal taxation and tax reform, and to put the "conventional wisdom", which says that it is optimal to tax women on a separate, lower tax schedule than men, on a .rmer basis. What emerges clearly from the analysis is how centrally important the relationship between productivity in household production and female labour supply really is, and how little we know about it empirically.

Keywords: Optimal taxation; household production; labour supply (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H21 D13 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe and nep-pub
Date: 2007-07
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/discussionpapers/2007/0721.pdf Main text (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Taxation of Couples (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: The Taxation of Couples (2007) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:yor:yorken:07/21

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of York
Address: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Paul Hodgson ().

 
Page updated 2014-08-26
Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:07/21