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The distributional effects of fiscal consolidation in nine EU countries

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  • Avram, Silvia
  • Figari, Francesco
  • Leventi, Chrysa
  • Levy, Horacio
  • Navicke, Jekaterina
  • Matsaganis, Manos
  • Militaru, Eva
  • Paulus, Alari
  • Rastrigina, Olga
  • Sutherland, Holly

Abstract

We compare the distributional effects of policy changes presented as fiscal consolidation measures in nine EU countries that experienced large budget deficits following the financial crisis of the late 2000s and subsequent economic downturn, using the EU microsimulation model EUROMOD. The nine countries, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and the UK, chose different policy mixes to achieve varying degrees of fiscal consolidation. We find that the burden of fiscal consolidation brought about through the first round effects of increases in personal taxes, cuts in spending on cash benefits and reductions in public sector pay is shared differently across the income distribution in the nine countries. In Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Romania and the UK the better off lose a higher proportion of their incomes than the poor. At the other extreme, in Estonia, the poor lose a higher proportion than the rich. In Lithuania and Portugal the burden of fiscal consolidation falls more heavily on the poor and the rich than it does on those with middle incomes. Including increases in VAT alters the comparative picture by making the policy packages appear more regressive, to varying extents.

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Paper provided by EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series EUROMOD Working Papers with number EM2/13.

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Date of creation: 11 Feb 2013
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em2-13

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Cited by:
  1. Figari, Francesco & Paulus, Alari, 2013. "The distributional effects of taxes and transfers under alternative income concepts: the importance of three ‘I’s," EUROMOD Working Papers EM15/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  2. Sebastian Leitner, 2013. "Analysis of Short and Medium Term Crisis Effects on Welfare and Poverty in SEE: Stress Testing Bulgarian and Romanian Households," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 111, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  3. Lidia Ceriani & Carlo V. Fiorio & Chiara Gigliarano, 2013. "The importance of choosing the data set for tax-benefit analysis," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 86-121.
  4. Massimo Baldini, 2014. "Fiscal austerity and income distribution in Italy," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0112, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.
  5. Jean Pisani-Ferry & André Sapir & Guntram B. Wolff, . "EU-IMF assistance to euro area countries: an early assessment," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 779, October.
  6. Koutsampelas, Christos & Polycarpou, Alexandros, 2013. "Austerity and the income distribution: the case of Cyprus," EUROMOD Working Papers EM4/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Sutherland, Holly & Figari, Francesco, 2013. "EUROMOD: The European Union Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model," EUROMOD Working Papers EM8/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Jara Tamayo, Holguer Xavier & Tumino, Alberto, 2013. "Tax-benefit systems, income distribution and work incentives in the European Union," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  9. H. Xavier Jara & Alberto Tumino, 2013. "Tax-benefit systems, income distribution and work incentives in the European Union," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 27-62.
  10. Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou & Manos Matsaganis & Chrysa Leventi & Jan-David Schneider, 2014. "Fairly Sharing the Social Impact of the Crisis in Greece," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1106, OECD Publishing.

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