Sozialpolitik und Arbeitsmärkte



Vorlesung: Public Economics and the Household


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  • January 27, 12:15-14:15, HGB, A 213
  • Last Tutorial: Jan 20, 12-14 c.t., HGB, B 011

Course Organisation:


  • Monday, 12:00-14:00 c.t., HGB, E 210

  • November 8/15/22, 2013, 12:00-17:00 s.t., HGB, D Z001

Course Description:

The economic model that underlies most of labor economics and public economics, particularly the analysis of taxation, is that of a single consumer dividing his or her time between labor market work and leisure. Yet, in reality most of us live in families and our decisions are taken collectively as a couple, often with children, and economic incentives are at play as well in intra-family interactions. This course is addressed to master students interested in public economics and labor economics. It first of all develops a more realistic approach to household economics, one that allows for multiple-income earners and shared decision-making within families. This approach is then applied to an analysis of tax systems, combining theoretical analysis of optimal taxation and tax reform with an empirical study of the characteristics of income tax systems in different countries. This course aims to bring together the economics of multi-person households with public economics in order to provide a new foundation for many policy-relevant issues in public economics.



  • Patricia Apps and Ray Rees (2009), Public Economics and the Household, Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles:

  • Alesina A, Ichino A, Karabarbounis L (2011) Gender-based taxation and the division of family chores. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 3(2), 1-40.
  • Apps P, Rees R (1999) On the taxation of trade within and between households. Journal of Public Economics 73(2), 241-263.
  • Apps P, Rees R (2004) Fertility, taxation and family policy. Scandinavian Journal of Economics 106(4), 745-763.
  • Bastani S (2013) Gender-based and couple-based taxation. International Tax and Public Finance, forthcoming.
  • Basu K (2006) Gender and say: A model of household behavior with endogenously determined balance of power. Economic Journal 116(511), 558-580.
  • Boskin M, Sheshinski E (1983) Optimal tax treatment of the family: married couples. Journal of Public Economics 20(3), 281-297.
  • Corneo G (2013) A note on the taxation of couples under income uncertainty. FinanzArchiv 69(1), 129-134.
  • Del Boca D, Flinn C (2012) Endogenous household interaction. Journal of Econometrics 166(1), 49-65.
  • Iyigun M, Walsh RP (2007) Endogenous gender power, household labor supply, and the quantity-quality tradeoff. Journal of Development Economics 82(1), 138-155.
  • Komura, M (2013) Fertility and endogenous gender bargaining power. Journal of Population Economics 26(3), 943-961.
  • Konrad KA, Lommerud KE (1995) Family policy with non-cooperative families. Scandinavian Journal of Economics 97(4), 581-601.
  • Meier V, Rainer H (2012a) On the optimality of joint taxation for non-cooperative couples. Labour Economics 19(4), 633-641.
  • Meier V, Wrede M (2013) Reducing the excess burden of subsidizing the stork: joint taxation, individual taxation and family tax splitting. Journal of Population Economics 26(3), 1195-1207.
  • Piggott J, Whalley J (1996) The tax unit and household production. Journal of Political Economy 104(2), 398-418.
  • Meier V, Rainer H (2012b) Beyond Ramsey: Gender-based taxation with non-cooperative couples. CESifo Working Paper No. 3966.

Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Fabian Siuda (