Essays in intrafamily distribution and taxation
Doctor of Philosophy
This thesis consists of three essays. In the first two essays we assume that the wife earns a lower wage rate than the husband and we analyze intrafamily distributional effects if environmental parameters such as the tax system or divorce regulations change. The third essay evaluates the efficiency of a production tax when a public service is provided to business. The first essay considers a tax reform from individual to joint taxation for couples in a one-period model. An expansion of the utility possibility set due to tax reform makes both spouses better off, if spouses apply a bargaining rule with a disagreement point outside marriage. Alternatively, if spouses receive family resources proportional to their contribution to family full income, the husband prefers joint taxation and the wife prefers individual taxation. In the model of the second essay, spouses bargain in each of two periods over the resource allocation between them using divorce as the disagreement outcome. Since each spouse's first period labor supply influences his or her second period bargaining power, the couple's labor supply decisions are no longer efficient. (1) A reduction of the tax rate of the wife when divorced increases inefficiency within marriage, but raises the wife's intertemporal utility. (2) An equal split of income between former spouses equalizes utility shares between spouses and it is less distortionary than a divorce law granting each former spouse his or her stand alone income. (3) Whenever the wife benefits from a tax reform from joint towards individual taxation of the family, inequality between spouses decreases but the husband might be worse off. In the third essay, local governments finance a public service to firms either with a tax on capital, the mobile factor, or with a tax on production. We find that in the Zodrow-Mieszkowski model a production tax is inefficient except for the case of a Cobb-Douglas technology. Using a CES production function, we show that a production tax is more efficient than a capital tax in the Zodrow-Mieszkowski model.