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The impact of redistributive policies on inequality in OECD countries

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  • Philipp Doerrenberg
  • Andreas Peichl

Abstract

Due to behavioural effects triggered by redistributional interventions, it is still an open question whether government policies are able to effectively reduce income inequality. We contribute to this research question by using different country-level data sources to study inequality trends in OECD countries since 1980. We first investigate the development of inequality over time before analysing the question of whether governments can effectively reduce inequality. Different identification strategies, using fixed effects and instrumental variables models, provide some evidence that governments are capable of reducing income inequality despite countervailing behavioural responses. The effect is stronger for social expenditure policies than for progressive taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "The impact of redistributive policies on inequality in OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(17), pages 2066-2086, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:17:p:2066-2086
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2014.892202
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    Cited by:

    1. John V. Duca & Jason L. Saving, 2016. "Income Inequality and Political Polarization: Time Series Evidence Over Nine Decades," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 445-466, September.
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    3. repec:euf:pfremu:pfr-2017-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. K. Sommerfeld, 2013. "Higher and higher? Performance pay and wage inequality in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4236-4247, October.
    5. Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska, 2016. "Reassessing the Economic Effects of Post-Socialist Constitutions Using the Synthetic Control Method," Working Papers 2016-18, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    6. Florian Dorn & Clemens Fuest & Niklas Potrafke, 2017. "Globalisation and Income Inequality Revisited," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 056, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    7. European Commission, 2013. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2013 Report," Taxation Papers 38, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. András Gábos & Réka Branyiczki & Barbara Lange & György Tóth, 2015. "Employment and poverty dynamics in the EU countries before, during and after the crisis," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/06, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    9. Thibault Darcillon, 2016. "What Determines Top Income Shares? The Role of the Interactions between Financial Integration and Tax Policy," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 16032, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    10. Christoph Schinke, 2014. "Government Ideology, Globalization, and Top Income Shares in OECD Countries," ifo Working Paper Series 181, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
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    13. Andreas Kuhn, 2012. "Redistributive preferences, redistribution, and inequality: Evidence from a panel of OECD countries," ECON - Working Papers 084, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
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    20. Goodness C. Aye & Matthew W. Clance & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Shocks on U.S. Inequality: The Role of Uncertainty," Working Papers 201782, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    21. Karen Davtyan, 2016. "“Income Inequality and Monetary Policy: An Analysis on the Long Run Relation”," AQR Working Papers 201604, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Apr 2016.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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