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The Impact of the Tax System and Social Spending in Income Redistribution and Poverty Reduction in Latin America

Author

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  • Nora Lustig

    () (Tulane University)

  • Claudiney Pereira

    () (Arizona State University)

Abstract

How much redistribution and poverty reduction is being accomplished through the tax system and social spending in Latin America? This paper summarizes results from applying a comparable fiscal incidence analysis to nine countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. Using the Gini coefficient as an indicator, Brazil lowers income in¬equality through direct taxes and transfers the most and Guatemala lowers it the least. Public spend¬ing in education and health have higher equalizing effects than other transfers. Adding the effect of indirect taxes leaves poverty higher than market income poverty in Bolivia, Brazil, and Guatemala

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Lustig & Claudiney Pereira, 2016. "The Impact of the Tax System and Social Spending in Income Redistribution and Poverty Reduction in Latin America," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 219(4), pages 121-136, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2016:v:219:i:4:p:121-136
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Lustig, Nora & Lopez-Calva, Luis F. & Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo, 2013. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 129-141.
    3. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
    4. Miguel Jaramillo, 2014. "The Incidence of Social Spending and Taxes in Peru," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 391-412, May.
    5. Freddy Paúl Llerena Pinto & M. Cristhina Llerena Pinto & M. Andrea Llerena Pinto, 2015. "Social Spending, Taxes and Income Redistribution in Ecuador," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 28, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    6. Herwig Immervoll & Horacio Levy & José Ricardo Nogueira & Cathal O´Donoghue & Rozane Bezerra de Siqueira, 2005. "The Impact of Brazil´s Tax-Benefit System on Inequality and Poverty," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 117, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Freddy Paúl Llerena Pinto & M. Cristhina Llerena Pinto & M. Andrea Llerena Pinto, 2015. "Social Spending, Taxes and Income Redistribution in Ecuador," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 1328, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. Sean Higgins & Claudiney Pereira, 2014. "The Effects of Brazil’s Taxation and Social Spending on the Distribution of Household Income," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 346-367, May.
    9. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 535-552, September.
    10. John Scott, 2014. "Redistributive Impact and Efficiency of Mexico’s Fiscal System," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 368-390, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal incidence; inequality; poverty; social spending; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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