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The distributional impact of social transfers in the European Union: evidence from the ECHP

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  • Christopher Heady
  • Theodore Mitrakos
  • Panos Tsakloglou

Abstract

Social transfers vary enormously across the European Union, as has been demonstrated in earlier research. This paper analyses the comparative effects of these transfers on inequality and poverty, using consistent household data. The analysis shows that the distributional impact of these transfers is greater in countries that spend a higher proportion of their GDP on them, but that there are other important determinants, including the extent of means testing, the distribution of funds between different types of transfer and the degree of targeting for each transfer. It also shows that effective targeting can be achieved without high levels of means testing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 547-565.

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:4:p:547-565.

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References

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  1. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166 Elsevier.
  2. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  3. Pyatt, Graham & Chen, Chau-nan & Fei, John, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-73, November.
  4. Willem Adema, 1999. "Net Social Expenditure," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 39, OECD Publishing.
  5. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  6. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "The Impact of Income Components on the Distribution of Family Incomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 311-26, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:emodwp:em9-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "The World Distribution of Income and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Herwig Immervoll & Linda Richardson, 2011. "Redistribution Policy and Inequality Reduction in OECD Countries: What Has Changed in Two Decades?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 122, OECD Publishing.
  4. Fofack, Hippolyte & Monga, Celestin, 2004. "Dynamics of income inequality and welfare in Latvia in the late 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3336, The World Bank.
  5. Tim Callan & Tim Smeeding & Panos Tsakloglou, 2008. "Short-run distributional effects of public education transfers to tertiary education students in seven European countries," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 275-288.
  6. M. Collado & IƱigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe, 2010. "Public transfers to the poor: is Europe really much more generous than the United States?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 662-685, December.
  7. Immervoll, Herwig & Levy, Horacio & Lietz, Christine & Mantovani, Daniela & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly & Verbist, Gerlinde, 2005. "Household Incomes and Redistribution in the European Union: Quantifying the Equalising Properties of Taxes and Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 1824, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Almas Heshmati, 2006. "Continental And Sub-Continental Income Inequality," The IUP Journal of Applied Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 7-52, January.
  9. Bea Cantillon & Natascha Van Mechelen & Olivier Pintelon & Aaron Van den Heede, 2012. "Household Work Intensity and the Adequacy of Social Protection in the EU," Working Papers 1204, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  10. Callan, Tim & Keeney, Mary J. & Nolan, Brian & Maitre, Bertrand, 2004. "Why is Relative Income Poverty so High in Ireland?," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS53.
  11. Milanovic, Branko, 2007. "Ethical case and economic feasibility of global transfers," MPRA Paper 2587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Tim Callan & Tim Smeeding & Panos Tsakloglou, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Public Education Transfers in Seven European Countries," Papers WP207, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  13. repec:ese:emodwp:em4-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Holly Sutherland & Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa05/30, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  15. Thomas Moutos & William Scarth, 2003. "Some Macroeconomic Consequences of Basic Income and Employment Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 916, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Data Issues and Databases Used in Analysis of Growth, Poverty and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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