Tax, Social Policy and Gender: Rethinking Equality and Efficiency
Edited by Miranda Stewart
Published: November 2017
Publisher: The ANU Press

Gender inequality is profoundly unjust and in clear contradiction to the philosophy of the ‘fair go’. In spite of some action by recent governments, Australia has fallen behind in policy and outcomes, even as the G20 group of nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund are paying renewed attention to gender inequality.

Tax, Social Policy and Gender presents new research on entrenched gender inequality in a comparative framework of human rights and fiscal sustainability. Ground-breaking empirical studies examine unequal returns to education for women and men, decision-making about child care by fathers and mothers, the history and gendered effects of the income tax and family payments, and women in the top 1 per cent. Contributors demonstrate how Australia’s tax, social security, child care, parental leave, education, work and retirement income policies intersect to compound gender inequality.

Tax, Social Policy and Gender calls for a rethinking of equality and efficiency in tax and social policy and provides new policy solutions. It offers a pathway to achieve gender mainstreaming for women’s economic security and the wellbeing of all Australians.

The book is available for free download from the ANU Press website. Print copies are available at A$58.00 at the NewSouth Books website.



  1. Gender inequality in Australia’s tax-transfer system – Miranda Stewart

Part I: Frameworks for gender analysis

  1. Australian tax-transfer policies and taxing for gender equality: Comparative perspectives and reform options – Kathleen Lahey
  2. Gender equity in the tax-transfer system for fiscal sustainability – Patricia Apps
  3. Gender equality and a rights-based approach to tax reform – Helen Hodgson and Kerrie Sadiq

Part II: Work and care

  1. Taxes, transfers, family policies and paid work over the female life cycle – Guyonne Kalb
  2. Paying for care in Australia’s ‘wage earners’ welfare state’: The case of child endowment – Julie Smith
  3. Parents’ primary and secondary child care time adjustment to market time: Evidence from Australian mothers and fathers – Huong Dinh and Maria Racionero

Part III: Human capital, savings and retirement

  1. Gender differences in costs and returns to higher education – Mathias Sinning
  2. Women and top incomes in Australia – Miranda Stewart, Sarah Voitchovsky and Roger Wilkins
  3. Budgeting for women’s rights in retirement – Siobhan Austen and Rhonda Sharp

Part IV: Towards gender equality in the tax-transfer system

  1. Pathways and processes towards a gender equality policy – Meredith Edwards and Miranda Stewart

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