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Lifetime vs Annual Tax-Transfer Incidence: How Much Less Progressive?

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  • Harding, Ann

Abstract

Annual fiscal incidence studies have found that income taxes and cash transfers are highly progressive and that their net effect is to redistribute income from rich to poor. Yet many argue that such studies overstate the redistribution achieved by governments and that lifetime analysis is needed. New results suggest that both income taxes and cash transfers are progressive on a lifetime basis, although they are much less progressive than annual studies suggest. The Australian tax-transfer system thus generates some lifetime redistribution from rich to poor, while also enforcing intrapersonal redistribution across the life cycle of individuals. Copyright 1993 by The Economic Society of Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • Harding, Ann, 1993. "Lifetime vs Annual Tax-Transfer Incidence: How Much Less Progressive?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(205), pages 179-191, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:69:y:1993:i:205:p:179-91
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert E. Goodin & Bruce Headey & Ruud Muffels, 1997. "Poverty, Inequality, and Income Redistribution in the 'Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism: United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, 1985 to 1989," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 92-101.
    2. Nelissen, Jan H. M., 1998. "Annual versus lifetime income redistribution by social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 223-249, May.
    3. Julian Lamont, 2008. "Incentives and reflective equilibrium in distributive justice debates," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 5-19, November.
    4. Rebecca Cassells & Ann Harding & Simon Kelly, 2006. "Problems and Prospects for Dynamic Microsimulation: A review and lessons for APPSIM," NATSEM Working Paper Series 63, University of Canberra, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling.
    5. Bruce Headey & Robert Goodin & Ruud Muffels & Henk-Jan Dirven, 2000. "Is There a Trade-Off Between Economic Efficiency and a Generous Welfare State? A Comparison of Best Cases of `The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism’," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 115-157, May.

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