IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/itaxpf/v8y2001i4p395-415.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

International Trends in Income Inequality and Social Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Koen Caminada

    ()

  • Kees Goudswaard

    ()

Abstract

In most OECD-countries income inequality has increased during the last two decades. In this paper, we investigate whether changes in the overall distribution of income can be attributed to social policy measures. For most (but not all) countries we find a possible relationship between changing welfare state policies (as measured by expenditure ratios and replacement rates) and changing income inequality. Especially the United Kingdom and the Netherlands combined an above-average rise in inequality with a reduction in the generosity of the welfare system. A more elaborate budget incidence analysis for the Netherlands indicates that in the period 1981–1997 inequality of disposable household income increased sharply. The two main forces behind this phenomenon were a more unequal distribution of market incomes and changes in social transfers. Fundamental social security reforms in the Netherlands indeed seem to have made the income distribution less equal. However, income inequality in the Netherlands is still below the OECD average at the end of the observed period. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 2001. "International Trends in Income Inequality and Social Policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 395-415, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:4:p:395-415
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011262706412
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1011262706412
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. A. Bovenberg, 2000. "Reforming Social Insurance in The Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 345-368, May.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Inequality, Growth, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 7038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kakwani, Nanak C, 1977. "Applications of Lorenz Curves in Economic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 719-727, April.
    5. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
    6. Paolo Figini, 1998. "Inequality Measures, Equivalence Scales and Adjustment for Household Size and Composition," Economics Technical Papers 988, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Gottschalk, Peter & Smeeding, Timothy M., 2000. "Empirical evidence on income inequality in industrialized countries," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 261-307 Elsevier.
    8. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 1996. "Progression and revenue effects of income tax reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 57-66, January.
    9. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Income: Evidence and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 3-18, February.
    10. Gouyette, Claudine & Pestieau, Pierre, 1999. "Efficiency of the Welfare State," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 537-553.
    11. Headey, Bruce & Goodin, Robert E. & Muffels, Ruud & Dirven, Henk-Jan, 1997. "Welfare Over Time: Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism in Panel Perspective," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 329-359, September.
    12. Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Gini Indices and the Redistribution of Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(2), pages 141-162, March.
    13. Peter Whiteford, 1995. "The Use of Replacement Rates in International Comparisons of Benefit Systems," Discussion Papers 0054, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    14. Champernowne, D G, 1974. "A Comparison of Measures of Inequality of Income Distribution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(336), pages 787-816, December.
    15. Atkinson, A.B. & Brandolini, A., 2000. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data -Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries," Papers 379, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    16. John P. Formby & W. James Smith & Paul D. Thistle, 1990. "The Average Tax Burden and the Welfare Implications of Global Tax Progressivity," Public Finance Review, , vol. 18(1), pages 3-24, January.
    17. Ringen, Stein, 1991. "Households, Standard of Living, and Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(1), pages 1-13, March.
    18. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social policy; income distribution (indices); taxes and transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence

    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:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:4:p:395-415. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.