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Indirect Taxation and Gender Equity: Evidence from South Africa


  • Daniela Maria Casale


This study adds to the growing literature on the distributional effects of indirect or consumption taxes in developing countries by exploring whether these taxes have differential gender outcomes. Using data from Statistics South Africa's 2000 Income and Expenditure Survey, the study investigates differences in tax incidence between “female-type” and “male-type” households, classified according to their demographic and economic attributes. The results suggest that zero-rating a well-targeted selection of basic foodstuffs and fuel for household use is important in protecting female-type households, especially those in the lowest quintiles and with children, from bearing an otherwise disproportionate share of the tax burden. In contrast, high taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and fuel for private transport result in a larger incidence on male-type households. The study also suggests ways in which the indirect tax structure could be refined to further reduce the large gender (and income) inequities that exist in South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Maria Casale, 2012. "Indirect Taxation and Gender Equity: Evidence from South Africa," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 25-54, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:18:y:2012:i:3:p:25-54
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2012.716907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ahmad,Etisham & Stern,Nicholas, 1991. "The Theory and Practice of Tax Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521397421, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margherita Scarlato & Giorgio D'Agostino, 2016. "Gender Disparities In The South African Labour Market: The Impact Of The Child Support Grant," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0210, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

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