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The effect of tax-benefit changes on the income distribution in EU countries since the beginning of the economic crisis

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  • De Agostini, Paola
  • Paulus, Alari
  • Sutherland, Holly
  • Tasseva, Iva Valentinova

Abstract

We compare the distributional effects of policy changes introduced in the period 2008-2013 in twelve EU countries using the EU microsimulation model EUROMOD. The countries, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and the UK, chose different policy mixes to achieve varying degrees of fiscal consolidation or expansion. We find that comparisons of the size and distributional effects of policy changes over time are sensitive to the counterfactual assumption that is adopted in adjusting 2008 policies for changes in prices and incomes over the period. Nevertheless, it is clear that the direct tax, public pension and cash benefit changes had broadly progressive effects across the pre-policy change income distributions, except in Germany, Estonia and Lithuania. Including increases in VAT alters the comparative picture by making the policy packages appear more regressive, to varying extents. The paper also explores the implications of the policy changes for measures of risk of poverty and examines the incidence of the changes by age.

Suggested Citation

  • De Agostini, Paola & Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly & Tasseva, Iva Valentinova, 2014. "The effect of tax-benefit changes on the income distribution in EU countries since the beginning of the economic crisis," EUROMOD Working Papers EM9/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:emodwp:em9-14
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/euromod/em9-14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manos Matsaganis & Chrysa Leventi, 2011. "The distributional impact of the crisis in Greece," DEOS Working Papers 1124, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2010. "Analysing the effects of tax-benefit reforms on income distribution: a decomposition approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, March.
    3. Holly Sutherland & Ruth Hancock & John Hills & Francesca Zantomio, 2008. "Keeping up or Falling behind? The Impact of Benefit and Tax Uprating on Incomes and Poverty," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 467-498, December.
    4. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1995. "On Equity Aspects of Imperfect Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(2), pages 177-190, June.
    5. Avram, Silvia & Figari, Francesco & Leventi, Chrysa & Levy, Horacio & Navicke, Jekaterina & Matsaganis, Manos & Militaru, Eva & Paulus, Alari & Rastrigina, Olga & Sutherland, Holly, 2013. "The distributional effects of fiscal consolidation in nine EU countries," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Eimear Leahy & Seán Lyons & Richard S. J. Tol, 2011. "The Distributional Effects of Value Added Tax in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(2), pages 213-235.
    7. Matsaganis, Manos & Levy, Horacio & Flevotomou, Maria, 2010. "Non take up of social benefits in Greece and Spain," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/10, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Holly Sutherland & Francesco Figari, 2013. "EUROMOD: the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 4-26.
    9. John Hills & Alari Paulus & Holly Sutherland & Iva Tasseva, 2014. "A lost decade? Decomposing the effect of 2001-11 tax-benefit policy changes on the income distribution in EU countries," ImPRovE Working Papers 14/03, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    10. Manos Matsaganis & Chrysa Leventi, 2013. "The Distributional Impact of the Greek Crisis in 2010," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34(1), pages 83-108, March.
    11. Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock & Holly Sutherland, 2006. "Simulating the Reform of Means-tested Benefits with Endogenous Take-up and Claim Costs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 135-166, April.
    12. Tom Clark & Andrew Leicester, 2004. "Inequality and two decades of British tax and benefit reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 129-158, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Martí & Javier J. Pérez, 2015. "Spanish Public Finances through the Financial Crisis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 36, pages 527-554, December.
    2. Paola De Agostini & Martina Menon & Federico Perali, 2015. "Family Friendly Welfare at the National and Local Level: What Does the State Do for the Family and the Family For the State?," Working Papers 23/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    3. Michał Brzeziński, 2015. "Inequality of opportunity in Europe before and after the Great Recession," Working Papers 2015-02, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Koen Caminada & Jinxian Wang & Kees Goudswaard & Chen Wang, 2017. "Income inequality and fiscal redistribution in 47 LIS-countries, 1967-2014," LIS Working papers 724, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. De Agostini, Paola & Paulus, Alari & Tasseva, Iva Valentinova, 2015. "The effect of tax-benefit changes on the income distribution in 2008-2014," EUROMOD Working Papers EM11/15, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. repec:ipf:psejou:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:299-314 is not listed on IDEAS

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