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Ist Deutschland wirklich so progressiv? Einkommensumverteilung im europäischen Vergleich

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  • Andreas Peichl
  • Nico Pestel
  • Sebastian Siegloch

Abstract

The German tax system is usually considered as one of the most progressive ones in Europe, especially due to its unique mathematical formula of continuously increasing marginal tax rates in the personal income tax. However, other taxes such as indirect or payroll taxes need to be considered as well when assessing the progressivity of the overall system. This paper takes such a comprehensive approach and puts the overall progressivity of the German tax system and the resulting redistributive effects in a European context. Our results show that the progressivity of the German system is rather average compared to other EU countries. The high redistributive power of the personal income tax is compensated by regressive social insurance contributions and indirect taxes. Deutschland wird im europäischen Vergleich häufig ein überdurchschnittlich progressives Steuersystem attestiert. Die einzigartige, mehrstufige Progressionsformel der Einkommensteuer trägt ohne Zweifel zu dieser Sichtweise bei. Um ein umfassendes Bild der Progressivität eines Gesamtsystems zu bekommen, müssen jedoch andere Steuer- und Abgabenarten, wie indirekte Steuern und Sozialversicherungsabgaben, mit einbezogen werden. Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird die Gesamtprogressivität des deutschen Steuer-, Abgaben- und Transfersystems quantifiziert und im europäischen Kontext verglichen. Darüber hinaus werden die vom Steuersystem ausgehenden Umverteilungswirkungen analysiert. Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Progressivität Deutschlands im europäischen Vergleich insgesamt eher im mittleren Bereich anzusiedeln ist. Selbst der Einkommensteuer kann nur eine mittlere Progressivität, dafür aber eine relativ hohe Umverteilungswirkung bescheinigt werden. Diese wird allerdings durch die stark regressiv wirkenden Sozialversicherungsbeiträge und die indirekten Steuern reduziert.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 82 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 111-127

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:82-1-8

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Keywords: Progressivity; redistribution; tax-benefit systems; European comparison;

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References

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  1. Wolfgang Meister, 2005. "Abgabenbelastung des Faktors Arbeit," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(24), pages 06-17, December.
  2. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2013. "Effective Taxation of Top Incomes in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(2), pages 115-137, 05.
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  5. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and Economic Crisis: US vs. Europe," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences 01-02, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  6. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Hilmar Schneider, 2012. "Does Size Matter? The Impact Of Changes In Household Structure On Income Distribution In Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(1), pages 118-141, 03.
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  8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2002. "Die rote Laterne Die Gründe für Deutschlands Wachstumsschwäche und die notwendigen Reformen," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 55(23), pages 3-32, December.
  9. R. A. Musgrave & Tun Thin, 1948. "Income Tax Progression, 1929-48," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 498.
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  11. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2007. "Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century: A Contrast Between Continental European and English-Speaking Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286881, October.
  12. Stefan Bach, 2005. "Grundlegende Reform der Einkommensbesteuerung: inwieweit kann die Bemessungsgrundlage verbreitert und das Steuerrecht vereinfacht werden?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(36), pages 523-527.
  13. Stefan Bach & Peter Haan, 2011. "Spitzensteuersatz: wieder Spielraum nach oben," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(46), pages 3-9.
  14. Verbist, Gerlinde, 2004. "Redistributive effect and progressivity of taxes: an international comparison across the EU using EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM5/04, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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