Fabrizio Colonna, Stefania Marcassa

Italy has the lowest labor force participation of women among OECD countries. Moreover, the participation rate of married women is positively correlated to their husbands' income. We show that a high tax schedule together with tax credits and transfers raise the burden of two-earner households, generating disincentives to work. We estimate a structural labor supply model for women, and use the estimated parameters to simulate the effects of alternative revenue-neutral tax systems. We find that joint taxation implies a drop in the participation rate. Conversely, working tax credit and gender-based taxation boost it, with the effects of the former concentrated on low educated women.

female labor force participation
Italian tax system
marginal tax rate
joint taxation
gender-based taxation
working tax credit