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The impact of taxes and transfer payments on the distribution of income: A parametric comparison


  • Samuel Dastrup
  • Rachel Hartshorn
  • James McDonald



The Luxembourg Income Study data is used to explore the impact of taxes and transfer payments on the distribution of income across thirteen countries for different years. The five-parameter generalized beta distribution and ten of its special cases are considered as models for the size distribution of income. Maximum likelihood methods are used to estimate the model with corresponding measures of goodness of fit and inequality reported. These results identify the best-fitting two, three, and four- parameter models as well as describe the inter-temporal patterns of inequality corresponding to earnings, total income, and disposable income. A general pattern of increasing inequality is observed for almost all countries considered along with significantly different distributional impacts of taxes and transfer payments across countries.
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  • Samuel Dastrup & Rachel Hartshorn & James McDonald, 2007. "The impact of taxes and transfer payments on the distribution of income: A parametric comparison," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(3), pages 353-369, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:5:y:2007:i:3:p:353-369 DOI: 10.1007/s10888-006-9039-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Charles T. Carlstrom & David Altig, 1999. "Marginal Tax Rates and Income Inequality in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1197-1215, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Jäntti & Stephen Jenkins, 2010. "The impact of macroeconomic conditions on income inequality," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 221-240, June.
    2. Boccanfuso, Dorothée & Richard, Patrick & Savard, Luc, 2013. "Parametric and nonparametric income distribution estimators in CGE micro-simulation modeling," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 892-899.
    3. Brzezinski, Michal, 2013. "Asymptotic and bootstrap inference for top income shares," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 10-13.
    4. Michał Brzeziński, 2013. "Parametric Modelling of Income Distribution in Central and Eastern Europe," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 5(3), pages 207-230, September.
    5. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & José Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel & Albert Satorra, 2010. "A finite mixture analysis of beauty-contest data using generalized beta distributions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 461-475, December.
    6. Khosravi Tanak, A. & Mohtashami Borzadaran, G.R. & Ahmadi, J., 2015. "Entropy maximization under the constraints on the generalized Gini index and its application in modeling income distributions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 438(C), pages 657-666.
    7. Brzezinski, Michal, 2014. "Empirical modeling of the impact factor distribution," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 362-368.


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