Is Our Fiscal System Discouraging Marriage? A New Look at the Marriage Tax

Elias Ilin, Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Melinda Pitts:

We develop, apply, and test a new measure of the marriage tax – the reduction in future spending from getting married – using SCF and ACS data. Our measure incorporates all major and most minor U.S. tax and benefit programs. And it assumes clone marriage – marrying oneself – to ensure the living-standard loss from marrying is unaffected by spousal choice. Our calculated high and highly variable marriage taxes materially reduce the probability of marriage particularly for low-income females with children.

Leave a Reply