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Marriage Stability, Taxation and Aggregate Labor Supply in the U.S. vs. Europe
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies.
2012 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Americans work more than Europeans. Using micro data from the U.S. and 17 European countries, we study the contributions from demographic subgroups to these aggregate level dierences. We document that women are typically the largest contributors to the discrepancy in work hours. We also document a negative empirical correlation between hours worked and dierent measures of taxation, driven by men, and a positive correlation between hours worked and divorce rates, driven by women. Motivated by these observations, we develop a life-cycle model with heterogeneous agents, marriage and divorce and use it to study the impact of two mechanisms on labor supply: (i) dierences in marriage stability and (ii) dierences in tax systems. We calibrate the model to U.S. data and study how labor supply in the U.S. changes as we introduce European tax systems, and as we replace the U.S. divorce and marriage rates with their European equivalents. We nd that the divorce and tax mechanisms combined explain 58% of the variation in labor supply between the U.S. and the European countries in our sample.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2012. , 64 p.
Working paper / Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Uppsala University, 2012:7
Keyword [en]
Aggregate Labor Supply, Taxation, Marriage, Divorce, Heterogeneous
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-174777OAI: diva2:528797
Available from: 2012-05-28 Created: 2012-05-28 Last updated: 2012-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Holter, Hans
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