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Taxation and distribution of income in Brazil: new evidence from personal income tax data


  • Gobetti, SŽrgio Wulff
  • Orair, Rodrigo Oct‡vio


This paper presents a critical analysis of income and profit taxes in Brazil, demonstrating how measures adopted in the 1980s and 1990s, as a result of mainstream recommendations, hindered the redistributive role of taxes in the country. Investigation of tax data reveals a high degree of income concentration at the top of the distribution, low progressivity and violations of the principles of horizontal and vertical equity. The main reason for these distortions is the complete tax exemption of dividends for shareholders, a benefit that is very rarely seen in developed countries. We propose a return to a progressivity-focused tax reform plan, a theme that has returned as a focus of debates with Piketty (2014). (?)
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  • Gobetti, SŽrgio Wulff & Orair, Rodrigo Oct‡vio, 2017. "Taxation and distribution of income in Brazil: new evidence from personal income tax data," Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Brazilian Journal of Political Economy (Brazil), vol. 37(2), April-Jun.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekm:wpaper:v:37:y:2017:i:2:a:1534

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anthony Atkinson & Thomas Piketty, 2010. "Top Incomes : A Global Perspective," Post-Print halshs-00754875, HAL.
    2. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2010. "Top Incomes: A Global Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286898.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Herculano Guimarães Ferreira de Souza & Marcelo Medeiros, 2017. "The concentration of income at the top in Brazil, 2006-2014," Working Papers 163, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    2. Gwaindepi, Abel, 2019. "Domestic revenue mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America: A comparative analysis since 1980," Lund Papers in Economic History 209, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Marc Morgan, 2018. "Income inequality, growth and elite taxation in Brazil: new evidence combining survey and fiscal data, 2001?2015," Working Papers 165, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.

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