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Income Distribution Effects of the Swedish 1991 Tax Reform: An Analysis of a Microsimulation Using Generalized Kakwani Decomposition

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  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

In 1991 a major tax reform was implemented in Sweden. This study compares the income equalization (income redistribution), vertical and horizontal equity properties of the pre- and post-reform tax and transfer systems. The method used is a decomposition, first proposed by Kakwani (1984), of the difference between the generalized Gini coefficients of the pre- and post-tax/transfer income districutions. The post-reform income distribution was obtained through a microsimulation carried out by the Ministry of Finance. Several findings emerge from the study. (i) The distribution of original incomes is unambiguously more equal under the post-reform regime. (ii) The increased amounts of child and housing allowances have a considerable equalizing effect. (iii) The pre-reform tax system has a larger vertical redistributive (equalizing) component. The decreased progressivity is the most important explanation in the lower end of the distribution, while the decreased tax rate explains more of the difference in the upper end. (iv) The reform increased horizontal equity. (v) It is a value judgement which of the distributions of disposable income are the most equal. The first four of these main findings apply when the calculations were redone within each separate household group. The overall methodological conclusion is that much more information was gained when different generalizations of the decomposition were considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Palme, Mårten, 1994. "Income Distribution Effects of the Swedish 1991 Tax Reform: An Analysis of a Microsimulation Using Generalized Kakwani Decomposition," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 5, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Enström Öst, Cecilia & Söderberg, Bo & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2014. "Household allocation and spatial distribution in a market under (“soft”) rent control," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 353-372.
    2. Wang, Chen & Caminada, Koen, 2011. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of social transfers and taxes in 36 LIS countries," MPRA Paper 32821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. O'Donoghue, Cathal & Baldini, Massimo & Mantovani, Daniela, 2004. "Modelling the redistributive impact of indirect taxes in Europe: an application of EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/01, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Behavioral responses and the distributional effects of the Russian ‘flat’ tax," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 226-240.
    5. Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees & Wang, Chen, 2012. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of taxes and transfers in 20 LIS countries over time," MPRA Paper 42350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lehmus, Markku, 2014. "Distributional and employment effects of labour tax changes in Finland," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 107-120.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Horizontal equity; generalized Gini coefficient; tax progressivity;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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