Hunt, Janet C.; DeLorme Jr., Charles D.; Hill, R. Carter
April 1981
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Apr81, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p426
Academic Journal
This study examines the influence of taxation on the wife's choice between home and market production by treating the marginal tax rate as a decision variable. The data analyzed, from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, provide information on the annual hours that husbands and wives devote to market work and housework, including child care, whereas previous studies have measured only changes in market hours and have assumed, in effect, that all other hours were devoted to nonproductive leisure. The empirical results indicate that wives working outside the home react to higher levels of taxation by reducing their market hours and increasing their home production time. In fact, the hypothesis cannot be rejected that wives completely reallocate time lost from the labor market to nonmarket production in an attempt to restore household real income. The authors conclude that the production loss from progressive taxation is usually overstated, though wives may lose through depreciation of their market skills and society loses to the extent that specialization in the economy declines.


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