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Implications of the Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax for Families in Canada


  • Lori J. Curtis
  • JoAnn Kingston-Riechers


We use the Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System and the Canadian Family Expenditure Survey to investigate the welfare change for households, particularly those with children, attributable to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Canada. We calculate the welfare change by estimating the expenditure difference necessary to maintain pre-GST indirect utility. We find that two in three households and one in three low income households were made worse off by the introduction of the GST. The figures are similar for households with children. More specifically, the stated policy goal of increasing the welfare of low and middle income households was not achieved.

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  • Lori J. Curtis & JoAnn Kingston-Riechers, 2010. "Implications of the Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax for Families in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(4), pages 503-520, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:36:y:2010:i:4:p:503-520

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Blacklow & Ranjan Ray, 2003. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation, Consumer Preferences and Commodity Tax Reforms: Australian Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 425-433, December.
    2. Pendakur, Krishna, 2002. "Taking prices seriously in the measurement of inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 47-69, October.
    3. Paul Blacklow & Ranjan Ray, 2002. "Optimal Commodity Taxes in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(1), pages 45-54.
    4. Grady, Patrick, 1990. "An Analysis of the Distributional Impact of the Goods and Services Tax," MPRA Paper 13144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Thomas F. Crossley & Lori J. Curtis, 2006. "Child Poverty In Canada," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 237-260, June.
    6. Creedy, John, 2001. "Tax Modelling," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(237), pages 189-202, June.
    7. Grady, Patrick, 1991. "The Distributional Impact of the Goods and Services Tax: A Reply to Gillespie," MPRA Paper 13246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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