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Social Spending, Taxes and Income Redistribution in Uruguay


  • Marisa Bucheli

    () (Economics Department, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay)

  • Nora Lustig

    (Tulane University (Department of Economics; Stone Center for Latin American Studies and CIPR) and Center for Global Development and Inter-American Dialogue.)

  • Maximo Rossi

    (Economics Department, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay)

  • Florencia Amábile

    (Economics Department, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay)


How much redistribution does Uruguay accomplish through social spending and taxes? How progressive are revenue collection and social spending? A standard fiscal incidence analysis shows that Uruguay achieves a nontrivial reduction in inequality and poverty when all taxes and transfers are combined. In comparison with other five countries in Latin America, it ranks first (poverty reduction) and second (inequality reduction), and first in terms of poverty reduction effectiveness and third in terms of overall (including transfers in kind) inequality reduction effectiveness. Direct taxes are progressive and indirect taxes are regressive. Social spending on direct transfers, contributory pensions, education and health is quite progressive in absolute terms except for tertiary education, which is almost neutral in relative terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Bucheli & Nora Lustig & Maximo Rossi & Florencia Amábile, 2012. "Social Spending, Taxes and Income Redistribution in Uruguay," Working Papers 263, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-263

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nora Lustig & George Gray-Molina & Sean Higgins & Miguel Jaramillo & Wilson Jiménez & Veronica Paz & Claudiney Pereira & Carola Pessino & John Scott & Ernesto Yañez, 2012. "The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru: A Synthesis of Results," Working Papers 264, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Verónica Amarante & Marisa Bucheli & Cecilia Olivieri & Ivone Perazzo, 2011. "Distributive impacts of alternative tax structures. The case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0911, Department of Economics - dECON.
    3. Nora Lustig & Carola Pessino & John Scott, 2013. "The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay: An Overview," Working Papers 1313, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
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    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H - Public Economics

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