The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru: A Synthesis of Results
We apply a standard tax-and-benefit-incidence analysis to estimate the impact on inequality and poverty of direct taxes, indirect taxes and subsidies, and social spending (cash and food transfers and in-kind transfers in education and health). The extent of inequality reduction induced by direct taxes and transfers is rather small (2 percentage points on average), especially when compared with that found in Western Europe (15 percentage points on average). What prevents Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil from achieving similar reductions in inequality is not the lack of revenues but the fact that they spend less on cash transfers—especially transfers that are prog ressive in absolute terms—as a share of GDP. Indirect taxes result in that net contributors to the fiscal system start at the fourth, third, and even second decile on average, depending on the country. When in-kind transfers in education and health are added, however, the bottom six deciles are net recipients. The impact of transfers on inequality and poverty reduction could be higher if spending on direct cash transfers that are progressive in absolute terms were increased, leakages to the nonpoor reduced, and coverage of the extreme poor by direct transfer programs expanded.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896, October.
- Breceda, Karla & Rigolini, Jamele & Saavedra, Jaime, 2008.
"Latin America and the social contract : patterns of social spending and taxation,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4604, The World Bank.
- Karla Breceda & Jamele Rigolini & Jaime Saavedra, 2009. "Latin America and the Social Contract: Patterns of Social Spending and Taxation," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(4), pages 721-748.
- Andrew Barnard, 2009. "The effects of taxes and benefits on household income, 2007/08," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(8), pages 56-66, August.
- Herwig Immervoll & Horacio Levy & José Ricardo Nogueira & Cathal O´Donoghue & Rozane Bezerra de Siqueira, 2005.
"The Impact of Brazil´s Tax-Benefit System on Inequality and Poverty,"
Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers
117, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- Immervoll, Herwig & Levy, Horacio & Nogueira, José Ricardo & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Siqueira, Rozane Bezerra de, 2006. "The Impact of Brazil's Tax-Benefit System on Inequality and Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 2114, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4623, The World Bank.
- Lambert, Peter J, 1985. "On the Redistributive Effect of Taxes and Benefits," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 39-54, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:311. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Roodman)The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask David Roodman to update the entry or send us the correct address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.