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The distributional impact of social transfers in the European Union: evidence from the ECHP

  • Christopher Heady
  • Theodore Mitrakos
  • Panos Tsakloglou

Social transfers vary enormously across the European Union, as has been demonstrated in earlier research. This paper analyses the comparative effects of these transfers on inequality and poverty, using consistent household data. The analysis shows that the distributional impact of these transfers is greater in countries that spend a higher proportion of their GDP on them, but that there are other important determinants, including the extent of means testing, the distribution of funds between different types of transfer and the degree of targeting for each transfer. It also shows that effective targeting can be achieved without high levels of means testing.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/fs/articles/0052a.pdf
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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 547-565.

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:4:p:547-565.
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  1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  2. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "The Impact of Income Components on the Distribution of Family Incomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 311-26, May.
  3. Pyatt, Graham & Chen, Chau-nan & Fei, John, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-73, November.
  4. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  5. Willem Adema, 1999. "Net Social Expenditure," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 39, OECD Publishing.
  6. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166 Elsevier.
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