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Mitigating the Gap between the Rich & the Poor: An Empirical Assessment of Key Trends & Drivers of Redistribution

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  • Martin Larch
  • Philipp Mohl

Abstract

The growing inequality of market income has, in the recent past, attracted considerable attention; less so the redistribution of income. This paper analyses key trends and drivers determining the size of income redistribution across households. We show that in the EU increasing redistribution has largely stabilised the distribution of disposable income since the late 1990s. Only developing countries, where lagging income levels do not allow larger welfare programmes, and some advanced countries with a dominant free market ideology have recorded an increasing inequality of disposable income alongside a growing inequality of market outcomes. Our evidence from panel data shows that the degree of redistribution increases with percapita income, the share of low-tech, low-income sectors in manufacturing and, in line with the median voter model, when more than half of the voters earn less than the average income in countries with a majoritarian electoral system.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Larch & Philipp Mohl, 2019. "Mitigating the Gap between the Rich & the Poor: An Empirical Assessment of Key Trends & Drivers of Redistribution," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 105, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:dispap:105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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