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Aggregate Effects of a Universal Social Insurance Fiscal Reform

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  • Antón Arturo
  • Leal-Ordoñez Julio C.

Abstract

In a typical developing country, coverage of the contributory social security system is low. We analyze the aggregate effects of a revenue-neutral fiscal-cum-social policy reform that consists of: 1) the implementation of universal social insurance to replace the system with low coverage; and 2) the elimination of the social security payroll tax to replace it with a generalized VAT. We find that this reform increases productivity by 2 percent and output by 3 percent as it improves the allocation of resources across firms and sectors, and generates a substantial change in occupational choices. Thus, wages (before transfers) increase for all employees. Also, due to the reconfiguration of transfers, earnings (wages after transfers) for informal employees increase relative to the earnings of formal employees, which decreases inequality. However, the reform could affect some groups in the population, given the regressive nature of VAT and heterogeneity in the valuation of transfers across workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Antón Arturo & Leal-Ordoñez Julio C., 2015. "Aggregate Effects of a Universal Social Insurance Fiscal Reform," Working Papers 2015-04, Banco de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2015-04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Universal Social Insurance; Fiscal Reform; Inequality; VAT; Allocation of Resources across Firms and Sectors.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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