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Measuring income redistribution: beyond the proportionality standard

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  • Ivica Urban

    () (Institute of Public Finance, Croatia)

Abstract

Traditional analyses of redistributive effects of the tax-benefit system are rooted in the concepts of relative income inequality and proportionality. This observation also applies to decompositions proposed by Kakwani (1977, 1984) and Lambert (1985) that reveal the vertical and horizontal effects of tax-benefit instruments. This paper generalises those decompositions within the frameworks of the alternative inequality concepts suggested by Ebert (2004) and Bosmans et al. (2014). As expected, the results of the empirical analysis indicate that for different views of inequality, different taxes and benefits play significantly different roles in reducing inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivica Urban, 2017. "Measuring income redistribution: beyond the proportionality standard," Working Papers 427, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2017-427
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:zbw:hohpro:324 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
    3. R. A. Musgrave & Tun Thin, 1948. "Income Tax Progression, 1929-48," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 498-498.
    4. Ebert, Udo & Moyes, Patrick, 2000. "Consistent Income Tax Structures When Households Are Heterogeneous," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 116-150, January.
    5. Pfingsten, Andreas, 1987. "Axiomatically Based Local Measures of Tax Progression," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 211-223, July.
    6. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
    7. Fellman, J, 1976. "The Effect of Transformations on Lorenz Curves," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 823-824, July.
    8. Coral del RÎo & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2000. "Intermediate inequality and welfare," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(2), pages 223-239.
    9. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
    10. Clemens Fuest & Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(4), pages 473-500, July.
    11. Eichhorn, Wolfgang & Funke, Helmut & Richter, Wolfram F., 1984. "Tax progression and inequality of income distribution," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 127-131, October.
    12. Ivica Urban, 2014. "Contributions of taxes and benefits to vertical and horizontal effects," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(3), pages 619-645, March.
    13. Lambert, Peter J, 1985. "On the Redistributive Effect of Taxes and Benefits," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 39-54, February.
    14. Udo Ebert, 2010. "Inequality reducing taxation reconsidered," Working Papers V-324-10, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised May 2010.
    15. Kristof Bosmans & Koen Decancq & André Decoster, 2014. "The Relativity of Decreasing Inequality Between Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(322), pages 276-292, April.
    16. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
    17. Ebert, Udo, 2004. "Coherent inequality views: linear invariant measures reconsidered," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-20, January.
    18. Fuest, Clemens & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU," IZA Discussion Papers 4520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. World Bank, 2014. "Croatia Public Finance Review : Restructuring Spending for Stability and Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 21282, The World Bank.
    20. Pfingsten, Andreas, 1986. "Distributionally-neutral tax changes for different inequality concepts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 385-393, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality concepts; redistributive effect; vertical equity; taxes and benefits.;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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