The income unit in the Australian tax and social security systems


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Content type
Research report

March 1983

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The Institute has published this doctoral dissertation as a contribution to the debate on the economics of the family and the implications for policy. The work scrutinises and compares the logic lying behind Australia's tax and social security systems in their choice of different income units and critically appraises assumptions made about economic behaviour within families. It uses empirical data on the actual financial behaviour of husbands and wives and links the data to an analysis of policy alternatives. It also considers the implications of recent economic and social changes affecting the employment of married women, marriage and divorce patterns and the composition of households. Although the publication uses public finance criteria of efficiency, equity and simplicity to assess the appropriate income units for social policy, it is an inter- disciplinary study integrating research results from the disciplines of economics and sociology.