IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ijm/journl/v10y2017i1p39-72.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Regressivity-Reducing VAT Reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Francesca Gastaldi

    () (Department of Economics and Law, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

  • Paolo Liberati

    () (Department of Economics and CEFIP, University of Roma Tre, Italy)

  • Elena Pisano

    () (Tax Directorate, Bank of Italy)

  • Simone Tedeschi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Roma Tre, Ital)

Abstract

A concern about a more extensive use of the Value Added Tax (VAT) in national tax systems often arises both from its impact on aggregate consumption and its alleged regressivity over income. Yet, the empirical evidence on this latter issue is still narrow mainly due to the lack of joint data on income and expenditures with enough detail to account for commodity-specific tax rates. After discussing relevant problems in the measurement of VAT incidence over current income - which are likely to cause severe upward bias in the estimated regressivity - the paper aims at analysing the distributional implications of different VAT structures. In a framework of marginal tax reforms, relying on the concept of Gini elasticity (Yitzhaki, 1983), a general methodology is proposed to analyse and improve the distributional profile of VAT over income. Using a static microsimulationmodel(EGaLiTe),the methodology is applied on a comprehensive dataset of expenditures and incomes obtained by a statistical matching of two different sources representative of the Italian population. It is shown that an alternative allocation of goods among existing rates could mitigate the regressive profile of the tax over income, and that a properly designed two-rate setting could even improve the distributional outcome compared with the current setting. Finally, behavioural responses to tax-driven price changes are also simulated in order to assess the potential impact of the proposed reforms on aggregate expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Gastaldi & Paolo Liberati & Elena Pisano & Simone Tedeschi, 2017. "Regressivity-Reducing VAT Reforms," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 10(1), pages 39-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v10:y:2017:i:1:p:39-72
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.microsimulation.org/IJM/V10_1/IJM_2017_10_1_2.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Garner, Thesia I, 1993. "Consumer Expenditures and Inequality: An Analysis Based on Decomposition of the Gini Coefficient," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 134-138, February.
    2. André Decoster & Jason Loughrey & Cathal O'Donoghue & Dirk Verwerft, 2010. "How regressive are indirect taxes? A microsimulation analysis for five European countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 326-350.
    3. Ricardo Batista Politi & Enlinson Mattos, 2011. "Ad-valorem tax incidence and after-tax price adjustments: evidence from Brazilian basic basket food," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1438-1470, November.
    4. Sonia Carrera, 2010. "An expenditure–based analysis of the redistribution of household income," Economic & Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan;Office for National Statistics, vol. 4(3), pages 18-27, March.
    5. Georgia Kaplanoglou & David Newbery, 2004. "Redistributive impact of indirect tax reforms: Greece, 1988-2002," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 225-247, June.
    6. Shujie Yao, 1999. "On the decomposition of Gini coefficients by population class and income source: a spreadsheet approach and application," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(10), pages 1249-1264.
    7. Lars-H. R. Siemers, 2014. "A General Microsimulation Model for the EU VAT with a specific Application to Germany," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 7(2), pages 40-93.
    8. Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
    9. Ray, Ranjan, 1999. "Marginal and Non-marginal Commodity Tax Reforms with Rank Two and Rank Three Demographic Demand Systems," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 689-712, October.
    10. Giovanni D'Alessio & Andrea Neri, 2015. "Income and wealth sample estimates consistent with macro aggregates: some experiments," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 272, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Caspersen, Erik & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1994. "Is a Value Added Tax Regressive? Annual Versus Lifetime Incidence Measures," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(4), pages 731-746, December.
    12. Cathal O'Donoghue & Massimo Baldini, 2004. "Modelling the Redistributive Impact of Indirect Taxes in Europe: An Application of EUROMOD," Working Papers 0077, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2004.
    13. John Creedy, 1998. "Are Consumption Taxes Regressive?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 31(2), pages 107-116, June.
    14. Gastaldi, F. & Liberati, P., 1998. "Towards a Two-rate VAT in Italy: Distributional and Welfare Effects," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9816, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Clément Carbonnier, 2005. "Is Tax Shifting Asymmetric? Evidence from French VAT reforms, 1995-2000," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590719, HAL.
    16. André Decoster & Jason Loughrey & Cathal O'Donoghue & Dirk Verwerft, 2011. "Microsimulation of indirect taxes," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 4(2), pages 41-56.
    17. Arsić, Milojko & Altiparmakov, Nikola, 2013. "Equity aspects of VAT in emerging European countries: A case study of Serbia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 171-186.
    18. Quentin Wodon & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2002. "Evaluating the Impact of Government Programs on Social Welfare: The Role of Targeting and the Allocation Rules Among Program Beneficiaries," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(2), pages 102-123, March.
    19. Asdrubali, Pierfederico & Tedeschi, Simone & Ventura, Luigi, 2015. "Household Risksharing Channels," MPRA Paper 65906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julio López Laborda & Carmen Marín González & Jorge Onrubia, 2018. "Tipo reducido, superreducido y exenciones en el IVA: una estimación de sus efectos recaudatorios y distributivos a partir de las encuestas de hogares," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2018-23, FEDEA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    VAT; Redistribution; Tax Incidence; Gini elasticity; Microsimulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v10:y:2017:i:1:p:39-72. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jinjing Li). General contact details of provider: http://www.microsimulation.org/ijm/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.