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Analysing the Effects of Tax-benefit Reforms on Income Distribution - A Decomposition Approach

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  • Olivier Bargain

    (University College of Dublin)

  • Tim Callan

    (Economic and Social Research Institute)

Abstract

To assess the impact of tax-benefit policy changes on income distribution over time, we suggest a methodology based on counterfactual simulations. We start by decomposing changes in inequal- ity/poverty indices into three contributions: reforms of the tax-benefit structure (rules, rates, etc.), changes in nominal levels of market incomes and tax-benefit parameters (benefit amounts, tax bands, etc.), and all other changes in the underlying population (market income inequality, demographic composition, employment level, etc.). Then, the decomposition helps to extract an absolute measure of the impact of tax-benefit changes on inequality when evaluated against a distributionally-neutral benchmark, i.e. a situation where tax-benefit parameters are adjusted in line with income growth. We apply this measure to assess recent policy changes in twelve European countries. Finally, the full decomposition allows quantifying the relative role of policy changes compared to all other fac- tors. We provide an illustration on France and Ireland and check the sensitivity of the results to the decomposition order.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200713.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 26 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200713

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Keywords: Tax-benefit policy; inequality; poverty; decomposition; microsimulation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Deutsch, Joseph & Fusco, Alessio & Silber, Jacques, 2013. "The BIP Trilogy (bipolarization, inequality and polarization): One saga but three different stories," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 7(22), pages 1-33.
  3. Duffy, David & FitzGerald, John & Timoney, Kevin & Byrne, David, 2013. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Winter 2013," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20134, March.
  4. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Schneider, Hilmar, 2010. "Does Size Matter? The Impact of Changes in Household Structure on Income Distribution in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Leventi, Chrysa & Matsaganis, Manos, 2013. "Distributional Implications of the Crisis in Greece in 2009-2012," EUROMOD Working Papers EM14/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  6. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian & Keane, Claire & Savage, Michael & Walsh, John R., 2013. "Crisis, Response and Distributional Impact: The Case of Ireland," Papers WP456, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Herwig Immervoll & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax policy and income inequality in the U.S., 1978—2009: A decomposition approach," Working Papers 215, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  8. Magda, Iga & Bukowski, Maciej & Buchholz, Sonia & Lewandowski, Piotr & Chrostek, Paweł & Kamińska, Agnieszka & Lis, Maciej & Potoczna, Monika & Myck, Michał & Kundera, Michał & Oczkowska, Monika, 2013. "Employment in Poland 2011 - Poverty and jobs," MPRA Paper 50185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Guillaume Allègre, 2012. "Work, family or state ? from wage inequalitie ans in-work poverty in a european cross-country perspective," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  10. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2013. "Distributional benchmarking in tax policy evaluations," Discussion Papers 765, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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