IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income Tax Progressivity: Trends and Implications


  • Claudia Gerber
  • Alexander Klemm
  • Li Liu
  • Victor Mylonas


This paper discusses how the structure of the tax system affects its progressivity. It suggests a measure of progressive capacity of tax systems, based on the Kakwani index, but independent of pretax income distributions. Using this and other progressivity measures, the paper (i) documents a decline in progressivity over the last decades and (ii) examines the relationship between progressivity and economic growth. On this relationship, regressions do not reveal a significant impact, suggesting that efficiency costs may be small – at least for degrees of progressivity observed in the sample. Finally, the paper finds that increasing tax progressivity reduces pretax inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Gerber & Alexander Klemm & Li Liu & Victor Mylonas, 2020. "Income Tax Progressivity: Trends and Implications," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(2), pages 365-386, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:82:y:2020:i:2:p:365-386
    DOI: 10.1111/obes.12331

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Nanak Kakwani & Xiaobing Wang & Jing Xu & Ximing Yue, 2020. "Assessing the Social Welfare Effects of Government Transfer Programs: Some International Comparisons," LIS Working papers 786, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:82:y:2020:i:2:p:365-386. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.