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What makes personal income taxes progressive? The case of Belgium

  • André Decoster
  • Isabelle Standaert
  • Christian Valenduc
  • Guy Van Camp

In this paper we investigate the progressivity impact of various components of the Belgian personal income tax system, before and after a major reform of this system. The reform reduced the top tax rates, broadened the tax base and increased tax credits. We show that, contrary to the opinion, commonly expressed in public debates, the reform did not reduce aggregate liability progression of the system and that the rate structure is relatively unimportant in explaining progressivity.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/11815/1/ber-0223.pdf
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Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

Volume (Year): 45 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 91-112

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Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2002:v:45:i:3:p:91-112
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  1. Pfahler, Wilhelm, 1990. "Redistributive Effect of Income Taxation: Decomposing Tax Base and Tax Rates Effects," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 121-29, April.
  2. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
  3. Pechman, Joseph A, 1987. "Tax Reform: Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 11-28, Summer.
  4. André Decoster & Guy Van Camp, 1998. "The unit of analysis in microsimulation models for personal income taxes: fiscal unit or household?," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9833, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  5. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-82, September.
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  7. Feldstein, Martin, 1988. "Imputing Corporate Tax Liabilities to Individual Taxpayers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 37-59, March.
  8. Bishop, John A & Formby, John P & Zheng, Buhong, 1998. "Inference Tests for Gini-Based Tax Progressivity Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(3), pages 322-30, July.
  9. Adam Wagstaff & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2001. "What Makes the Personal Income Tax Progressive? A Comparative Analysis for Fifteen OECD Countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 299-316, May.
  10. Pfahler, Wilhelm, 1987. "Redistributive Effects of Tax Progressivity: Evaluating a General Class of Aggregate Measures," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(1), pages 1-31.
  11. Keen, Michael & Papapanagos, Harry & Shorrocks, Anthony, 2000. "Tax Reform and Progressivity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 50-68, January.
  12. Martin Feldstein, 1987. "Imputing Corporate Tax Liabilities to Individual Taxpayers," NBER Working Papers 2349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John P. Formby & W. James Smith & Paul D. Thistle, 1990. "The Average Tax Burden and the Welfare Implications of Global Tax Progressivity," Public Finance Review, , vol. 18(1), pages 3-24, January.
  14. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1997. "The asymptotic distribution of linear indices of inequality, progressivity and redistribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 51-57, January.
  15. Pechman, Joseph A, 1990. "The Future of the Income Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 1-20, March.
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