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Redistribution through taxes and deductions. A decomposition analysis with administrative tax data from Switzerland

Author

Listed:
  • Oliver Hümbelin

    ()

  • Rudolf Farys

    ()

Abstract

This empirical analysis of administrative tax data from the Swiss Canton of Aargau (2001 to 2011), shows the potential that this type of data has to grant us a more complete picture of the redistributive effects of visible (tax rates) and hidden (tax deductions) instruments of the welfare state. In terms of methodology, Gini-based redistributive effects are decomposed into effects of mean tax rate, progression and reranking effects. The study's findings show a declined impact of direct taxes, which is attributable to reduced taxation on the community and cantonal but not the state level. At the same time, tax deductions drastically hamper the redistributive effect of taxes, primarily through deductions of wealth expenses, interest and extra-mandatory payments to the pension scheme, each of which leads to a substantial tax relief for high income earners.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Hümbelin & Rudolf Farys, 2017. "Redistribution through taxes and deductions. A decomposition analysis with administrative tax data from Switzerland," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 26, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:26
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.sowi.unibe.ch/files/wp26/Huembelin-Farys-2017-Redistribution.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feld, Lars P, 2000. "Tax Competition and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 125-164, October.
    2. Monika Engler, 2011. "Redistribution in Switzerland: Social Cohesion or Simple Smoothing of Lifetime Incomes?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(II), pages 107-155, June.
    3. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Herwig Immervoll & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2015. "Tax Policy And Income Inequality In The United States, 1979–2007," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 1061-1085, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    redistribution effects; direct taxes; tax deductions; tax competition; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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