fdb – Forschungsdatenbank der Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)


Dipl-Vw. Melanie Schröder: Income Taxation and Labor Supply: An Experiment on Couple's Work Eff

Projektleitung Dipl-Vw. Melanie Schröder
Time span 12/2011 - 01/2023
Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Lehrstuhl Lehrstuhl für VWL, insb. Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik


As microsimulation studies have already shown, a change from joint to in- dividual taxation would improve married women's labor market participation. Complementary to these findings focusing on labor supply as a choice of hours worked we shed light on another choice variable that survey data are not capable of taking into account: the choice of work effort. Our aim is to investigate the effect of individual and joint taxation on part- ners' labor supply within an experimental setting. In our experiment 58 estab- lished heterosexual couples perform under a piece rate compensation on real effort tasks (solving mazes) in two stages, with the number of solved mazes serving as our proxy for labor supply. The mazes differ in complexity level with corresponding high and low wages and thus determine who is the primary and the secondary earner within the couple. The couple's income is taxed jointly for one stage and individually for the other. Before performing on this com- pensated task, each couple has to decide which partner fufillls one compulsory and uncompensated task that reduces working time for one of them (proxy for housework). Our data shows that men are more susceptible to changes in tax scheme when being in the role of a secondary earner. In contrast, women do not react to changes in tax scheme at all. Besides the male breadwinner model we also demonstrate that fairness plays a role. The allocation of the uncompensated task does not follow all the familiar patterns of the gendered division of housework.


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