For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage

@article{Alm1999ForLO,
  title={For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage},
  author={James Alm and Leslie A. Whittington},
  journal={Economica},
  year={1999},
  volume={66},
  pages={297-316}
}
There is a large empirical literature that demonstrates the importance of economic factors in the decision to marry. Taxes, however, have been largely overlooked as a determinant of marriage, even though the tax system in the United States is not marriage-neutral; that is, when two individuals marry, their marital income tax burden is typically different--sometimes higher, sometimes lower--than their combined single income tax obligations. In this paper we explore the impact of the federal… 

Tables from this paper

MARRIAGE IS A STATE OF LUXURY: THE DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT OF THE DUAL-EARNER MARRIAGE TAX PENALTY
Using household data and the 2013 federal recognition of same sex marriage (SSM), we provide evidence that the Dual-Earner Marriage Tax Penalty (DMTP) has an economically and statistically
Marriage or Cohabitation : The Effects of the Marriage Tax
This paper examines the marriage tax paid by couples in 2000 using the U.S. Census data from that year. The U.S. Census data allows the study to focus on cohabiting and married couples, and ignore
Shacking Up or Shelling Out: Income Taxes, Marriage, and Cohabitation
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the income tax penalty associated with marriage contributes to the decision of a couple to live together as a married vs. a cohabiting couple. In this paper, we use
Income taxation and the timing of marriage
By modifying the incentive structure, taxes affect human behavior. I investigate how the German income tax code influences the timing of civil marriages. The German income tax code contains
Economic Incentives and Family Formation
This study identifies the effects of economic factors that can be directly manipulated by public policy on women’s union-forming decisions. We jointly model transitions made by never-married women to
The Federal Government’s War on Marriage AKA the Marriage Penalty Tax: Unfair to Individuals and Harmful to Society
Empirical research has shown that public policy such as tax and transfer programs have had a deleterious effect on marital stability. This study analyzes the cost to individuals of various aspects of
The Effects of Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits
In the U.S., both taxes and old age Social Security benefits depend on one's marital status and tend to discourage the labor supply of the secondary earner. We study the effects of eliminating these
Wedding Bell Blues: The Income Tax Consequences of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Recently, gay and lesbian couples have gone to court to force the government to allow same-sex couples to marry. Largely unnoticed during the debates surrounding same-sex marriages are their economic
The Effect of Marriage Tax Penalties and Subsidies on Marital Status
The United States personal income tax system treats married and unmarried couples differently, creating both penalties and subsidies for marriage. This paper examines the effect of these penalties
German income taxation and the timing of marriage
ABSTRACT I investigate how the German income tax code affects the timing of marriages. The German income tax code allows married couples to benefit from full income splitting relative to unmarried
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 40 REFERENCES
Income taxes and the marriage decision
Economic incentives have been found to play an important role in the marriage decision in developed and developing countries. However, the way in which the income tax treatment of the family affects
Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions.
An Analysis of the Age Pattern of First Marriage
Marital status is a very important economic and demographic variable. Individual marital behavior and the distribution of various types of marital behavior affect a variety of important phenomena.
Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects
The incidence of marriage and the proportion of childbearing that occurs within marriage have decreased sharply in the United States in the last several decades. This paper examines whether the
A Theory of Marriage: Part II
  • G. Becker
  • Economics
    Journal of Political Economy
  • 1974
I present in this paper the skeleton of a theory of marriage. The two basic assumptions are that each person tries to do as well as possible and that the "marriage market" is in equilibrium. With the
THE RISE AND FALL AND RISE ... OF THE MARRIAGE TAX
In this paper, we use household data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to calculate the real value of the so-called "marriage tax" or "marriage subsidy" in the federal individual income tax
Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples
Women's Fertility, Market Work and Marital Status: A Test of the New Household Economics with International Data
Since its emergence from the pioneering efforts of Becker (1960) and Mincer (1962), the "new household economics" has inspired a wide range of theoretical and empirical models of demographic
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MARRIAGE TAX
We use a sample of actual tax returns to compute estimates of the marriage tax by income class under the new tax law. We predict that in 1994, 52 percent of American couples will pay an average
On The Economics Of Marriage
Shoshana Grossbard, a leading scholar in this field, has selected the most influential classic and recent articles which highlight the economic importance of marriage and related institutions. The
...
...