Studies in growth and household allocation

Sammanfattning: This thesis consists of three self-contained essays.Essay 1 Using pooled cross-sectional data from 23 OECD countries, between 1965 and 1990, I find evidence that the tax structure affects economic growth. Specifically, the proportion of tax revenue raised by taxing personal income has a negative correlation with economic growth. This result is robust to a rigorous sensitivity analysis, where I control for other plausible growth determinants in a systematic manner. Also, there is some empirical evidence that tax progressivity, measured in terms of the long-run income elasticity of tax revenue, is associated with low economic growth.Essay 2 I explore the effects of a wife's preference for fairness in the division of housework between two spouses in two different models of household time allocation. Both in the model with agreeing spouses and the model with noncooperative spouses, such a preference has an equalising effect on the division of paid and unpaid work between the partners. In the noncooperative equilibrium, the wife gets more private consumption and the husband gets less. This has an equalising effect on the intrafamily welfare distribution. However, the fairness preference is shown to reduce the provision of the household public good, thus reducing the gain from marriage.Essay 3 Two household categories, semihousewife households and so-called drudge-wife households are framed in a noncooperative household allocation model with a simple numerical utility representation. I derive closed form Nash equilibria which illustrate the effects of two public policy measures: legislation of shorter work time and a simple progressive income tax system. The intrafamily distribution of paid and unpaid work, as well as the intrafamily welfare differential, become more even and the supply of household public goods increase in both household types as a consequence of the shorter work time policy. The effects of the income tax system, incorporating two taxrates levied below and above a certain breakpoint income, has the same beneficial effects if the husband is taxed in the upper bracket and the wife in the lower bracket, which is a likely scenario for semihousewife households. For drudge-wife households where spouses face the same marginal tax rate, those effects do not come about.

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