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Tax policy and returns to education

By A.L. Booth and M.G. Coles

Abstract

This paper considers how asymmetric tax treatment, where labour market earnings are taxed but household production is untaxed, affects educational choice and labour supply. We show that taxes on labour market earnings can generate a large (non-marginal) switch to home production and the ensuing deadweight losses are large. Using a cross-country panel, we find that gender differences in labour supply responses to tax policy can explain differences in aggregate labour supply and years of education across countries.Increasing returns Tax policy Gender Labour supply Education

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