Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru: A Synthesis of Results

Contents:

Author Info

  • Nora Lustig

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • George Gray Molina

    ()
    (Chief Economist for UNDP-Latin America and the Caribbean, New York, New York)

  • Sean Higgins

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Miguel Jaramillo

    ()
    (GRADE (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo), Peru)

  • Wilson Jimenez
  • Veronica Paz

    ()

  • Claudiney Pereira

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Carola Pessino

    ()
    (School of Government and Executive Director, Centro de Investigaciones y Evaluación en Economía Social para el Alivio de la Pobreza, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • John Scott

    ()
    (CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), Mexico and,Consejero Académico, CONEVAL (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social), Mexico)

  • Ernesto Yanez

    ()

Abstract

We apply a standard tax and benefit incidence analysis to estimate the impact on inequality and poverty of direct taxes, indirect taxes and subsidies, and social spending (cash and food transfers and in-kind transfers in education and health). The extent of inequality reduction induced by direct taxes and transfers is rather small (2 percentage points on average) especially when compared with that found in Western Europe (15 percentage points on average). What prevents Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil from achieving similar reductions in inequality is not the lack of revenues but the fact that they spend less on cash transfers-especially transfers that are progressive in absolute terms--as a share of GDP. Indirect taxes result in that net contributors to the fiscal system start at the fourth, third and even second decile on average, depending on the country. When in-kind transfers in education and health are added, however, the bottom six deciles are net recipients. The impact of transfers on inequality and poverty reduction could be higher if spending on direct cash transfers that are progressive in absolute terms is increased, leakages to the nonpoor are reduced and coverage of the extreme poor by direct transfer programs is expanded.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1216.pdf
File Function: First Version, August 2012
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1216.

as in new window
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1216

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 206 Tilton Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: (504) 865-5321
Fax: (504) 865-5869
Web page: http://econ.tulane.edu
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: fiscal incidence; inequality; poverty; taxes; social spending; Latin America;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Karla Breceda & Jamele Rigolini & Jaime Saavedra, 2009. "Latin America and the Social Contract: Patterns of Social Spending and Taxation," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(4), pages 721-748.
  2. Immervoll, Herwig & Levy, Horacio & Nogueira, José Ricardo & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Siqueira, Rozane Bezerra de, 2006. "The Impact of Brazil's Tax-Benefit System on Inequality and Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 2114, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrew Barnard, 2009. "The effects of taxes and benefits on household income, 2007/08," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(8), pages 56-66, August.
  4. Lambert, Peter J, 1985. "On the Redistributive Effect of Taxes and Benefits," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 39-54, February.
  5. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896, March.
  6. Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4623, The World Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Nora Lustig & Carola Pessino, 2012. "Social Spending and Income Redistribution in Argentina During the 2000s: the Rising Role of Noncontributory Pensions," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 499, Universidad del CEMA.
  2. Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States," Working Papers 1317, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. Nancy Birdsall, Nora Lustig, Christian Meyer, 2013. "The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?-Working Paper 337," Working Papers 337, Center for Global Development.
  4. Marisa Bucheli & Nora Lustig & Máximo Rossi & Florencia Amábile, 2012. "Social Spending, Taxes and Income Redistribution in Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1212, Department of Economics - dECON.
  5. Nora Lustig & Florencia Amábile & Marisa Bucheli & George Gray Molina & Sean Higgins & Miguel Jaramillo & Wilson Jiménez Pozo & Veronica Paz Arauco & Claudiney Pereira & Carola Pessino & Máximo Ros, 2013. "The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay: An overview," Working Papers 315, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  6. Luis Huesca & Abdelkrim Araar, 2014. "Progressivity of Taxes and Transfers: the Mexican Case 2012," Cahiers de recherche 1407, CIRPEE.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1216. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Finlay).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.