Working Paper

Declining female labor supply elasticities in the U.S. and implications for tax policy: evidence from panel data

Abstract: Recent work has provided compelling evidence of a long-term decline in US female labor supply elasticities with respect to wages and to income. While previous work used cross-sectional data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), we reexamine the trend for married women using panel data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) from 1980 to 2006. We find evidence in support of a long-term decline in married females? labor supply elasticities on the participation margin, but less so on the hours margin. We also extend the analysis to investigating the implications of these results on welfare effects of tax reforms. Policy simulations indicate that shrinking elasticities, mostly concentrated on the participation margin, have contributed to a dramatic decline in welfare gains from actual and potential tax reforms since the 1980?s.

Keywords: Female labor supply; Taxes and labor supply;

JEL Classification: H21; H24; H31; J22;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2015-01-01

Number: 1501

Pages: 38 pages

Note: Published as: Kumar, Anil and Che-Yuan Liang (2016), "Declining Female Labor Supply Elasticities in the U.S. and Implications for Tax Policy: Evidence from Panel Data," National Tax Journal 69 (3): 481-516.