Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Lora Cicconi (J.D. 2007, UCLA) has published Comment, Competing Goals Amidst the "Opt-Out" Revolution: An Examination of Gender-Based Tax Reform in Light of New Data on Female Labor Supply, 42 Gonz. L. Rev. 257 (2007). Here is part of the Introduction:
The recent stagnation of women's labor force participation, in combination with new research suggesting a decline in women's labor elasticities, demands a fresh look at proposals for tax reform. In this paper, I first examine the new data on women's labor participation and elasticity and briefly explain aspects of the tax code that are viewed as distorting women's labor force decisions. I then look at the three arguments generally advanced in favor of tax reform to eliminate gender bias--equal treatment, efficiency, and fairness. I consider which reform proposals advance each goal, and question whether the new data strengthens or weakens the various proposals. I also examine the political viability of each reform in light of the history of changes to the tax code and debates surrounding the marriage penalty in the last twenty-five years. Ultimately, I argue that a combination secondary earner/childcare credit, while not ideal, is the most effective way to address the tax disincentives for married women, while still partially satisfying the competing goals of equal treatment, efficiency, fairness and political feasibility.
The paper received Honorable Mention in the 2006 Tannenwald Tax Competition.