Indirect Taxation and Gender Equity: Evidence from South Africa
AbstractThis paper explores the equity implications of indirect or consumption taxes from a gender perspective, using detailed expenditure data for South Africa. While a growing literature on the incidence of indirect taxes investigates their impact on the income distribution in developing countries, there is little work on whether indirect taxes have differential gender outcomes. Gender bias is likely to exist in taxes that are levied on consumption expenditure, because men and women (and their households) spend their incomes on different types of goods, or on goods that are taxed differently. To estimate the gender incidence of indirect taxes, this study explores differences between households that are classified as more â€˜femaleâ€™ or more â€˜maleâ€™ according to their demographic and economic attributes. The results suggest that the zero-rating of a selection of basic foodstuffs and fuel for household use is important in protecting â€˜female-typeâ€™ households, especially those in the lowest expenditure quintiles and with children, from bearing an otherwise disproportionate share of the burden of these taxes. In contrast, high taxes on alcohol, tobacco and fuel for private transport result in a higher incidence on â€˜male-typeâ€™ households, those in the middle and top quintiles and those without children. The paper also suggests ways in which the indirect tax system could be refined to further reduce the large gender (and income) inequities that exist in South Africa.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 193.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Newlands on Main, F0301 3rd Floor Mariendahl House, cnr Campground and Main Rds, Claremont, 7700 Cape Town
Phone: 021 671-3980
Fax: +27 21 671 3912
Web page: http://www.econrsa.org/
More information through EDIRC
indirect taxes; incidence; gender equity; South Africa;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Yoemna Mosaval).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.