IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inq/inqwps/ecineq2011-194.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Tax-benefit incidence of value added tax on food and medicine to fund progressive social expenditure

Author

Listed:
  • Jaime Acosta-Margain

    () (Rice University)

Abstract

In 2009, the Mexican Congress received a proposal of a generalized 2% increase in the statutory VAT rate, including currently untaxed food and medicine. Whereas opponents emphasized the regressive effect, supporters argued that progressivity of the compensatory expenditures included in the bill more than compensated the bottom income quintiles. In this paper I present a tax-benefit incidence of this proposal using national survey data on household's income and consumption. Despite the regressive effect of the tax increase, the data shows that the progressive expenditure offsets this effect. Overall the proposal was progressive. This finding undermines the arguments in favor of keeping food and medicines exempt of VAT to prevent a regressive effects. This result also contributes to the debate about the regressive effects of a single VAT to all consumption and no exemptions. To illustrate that, I analyze the redistributive effect of this policy. The result is that the increase in public expenditure can offset the regressive effect of this policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime Acosta-Margain, 2011. "Tax-benefit incidence of value added tax on food and medicine to fund progressive social expenditure," Working Papers 194, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-194
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-194.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aled ab Iorwerth & John Whalley, 2002. "Efficiency considerations and the exemption of food from sales and value added taxes," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 166-182, February.
    2. David E. Altig & Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1997. "Simulating U.S. tax reform," Working Paper 9712, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Sehili, Saloua & Wodon, Quentin, 2008. "Analyzing the Potential Impact of Indirect Tax Reforms on Poverty with Limited Data: Niger," MPRA Paper 11074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 535-552, September.
    5. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2001. "Mexico: An Evaluation of the Main Features of the Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0112, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value added tax; tax-benefit incidence.;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-194. 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: (Maria Ana Lugo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecineea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.