148 research outputs found

    Gender, Time Use and Models of the Household

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    The aim of this paper is to explain why time use data are essential for analyzing issues of gender equity and the intra-household allocation of resources, for comparing living standards and for estimating the behavioral effects of changes in policy variables. The first step in the exposition is to show that the neglect of these data in much of the literature on household behavior, in both developed and developing economies, can be traced to unrealistic assumptions on domestic production and the mistaken idea that non-market time can be viewed as leisure. It is argued that an approach is required that makes explicit the need for data on the time family members spend on domestic work as well as on labor supply. An approach of this kind is outlined and used to identify the specialized assumptions that are employed when they are missing. The paper also discusses the limitations of available time use survey datasets that are due to deficiencies in survey design. The more serious and common problems are illustrated using as case studies the Statistics South Africa 2000 Time Use Survey and the time use module included in the Nicaraguan 1998 Living Standards Measurements Survey.time allocation and labor supply, gender, household production, development

    Why the Henry Review Fails on Family Tax Reform

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    While acknowledging the importance of fairness and the need to avoid creating disincentives in the design of tax reform, the Henry Review recommends a simplified Personal Income Tax and child payments withdrawn on a single family income test. This paper shows that the proposed reforms would consolidate the existing family tax system, which clearly fails in terms of both fairness and disincentives. In the early 1980’s Australia had a highly progressive individual income tax and universal family payments. Since then family income tests on child payments and tax cuts at high income levels have transformed the system into one of joint taxation with the highest marginal rates on low and average wage two-earner families. Under the Review’s recommendations the same families would continue to face the highest tax rates. Data presented indicate strong negative effects on productivity and the tax base due to disincentive effects on labour supply and saving over the life cycle. The paper proposes a return to a strongly progressive individual based income tax and universal family payments.Taxation, Family payments, Time allocation, Labour supply, Saving, Life cycle

    The New Discrimination and Childcare

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    The “new discrimination” refers to the use of government policy to increase the effective gender wage gap, measured in terms of the second earner’s net of tax income gain from working in the market place rather than at home. This paper presents an analysis of the tax treatment of family members and shows how the expansion of policy instruments, such as family tax benefits withdrawn on joint income and the low income tax offset, has raised average and marginal rates on the income of the second earner, typically the female partner. The study concludes that this new discrimination, together with limited access to affordable, high quality childcare, has severely limited the growth of female labour supply needed to fund family support, and is ultimately unsustainable in an ageing population.childcare, Australian family tax system, marginal tax rates and labour supply

    TAXATION AND LABOUR SUPPLY

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    Cross country comparisons of lifecycle labour supplies show that female hours of market work are significantly lower in Australia than in other comparable OECD countries, notably, the US, UK and Sweden. This paper argues that an explanation can be found in the rate structure of the Australian family income tax system, in combination with a poorly developed and costly childcare sector. A detailed analysis of marginal and average tax rates shows how various policy instruments are used to set rates on the income of a second earner, typically the female partner, that reduce her net wage to a level that makes it difficult to finance childcare from the additional income. The system is also shown to be unfair. The paper proposes a return to a progressive individual income tax, with universal family benefits, together with the development of a high quality, education oriented, public sector childcare system.Income Taxes, Time Allocation, Labor Supply, Life Cycle Choices

    Testing the Pareto Efficiency of Household Resource Allocations

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    In a careful and thorough empirical study, Christopher Udry (1996) shows convincingly that, in a large sample of West African households, household resource allocations were not Pareto efficient. This paper argues that observation of the Pareto inefficiency of a household resource allocation does not however refute the hypothesis that it chooses this resource allocation as if it maximises some form of household welfare function possessing the Pareto property. To refute that hypothesis it is necessary to show that the observed allocation does not represent a second best optimum. For this it will be necessary to show that the estimated parameters of the model lie in a region of the parameter space for which the second best optimality of the allocation does not hold.empirical test, Pareto efficiency, household welfare

    Household Saving and Full Consumpyion Over the Life Cycle.

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    This paper extends the standard model of the life cycle consumption, saving and labor supply in a number of direction.SAVINGS ; CONSUMPTION

    Comment On The 'Five Economists' Plan: The Original Idea and Further Developments

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    In this paper Peter Dawkins argues for the "wage-tax trade-off" proposed by the "Five Economists" as part of their policy package for reducing unemployment. As he explains, the trade-off involves using an earned income tax credit (EITC) scheme "as a way of increasing the incomes of low-wage earners in low-income families, rather than increases in the award wages safety net". My comments will focus on the EITC component of the package, taking as an example the Lambert (2000) scheme reported in the paper. I will also concentrate on the effects of the scheme for two-parent families.
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