IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4520.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU

Author

Listed:
  • Fuest, Clemens

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Niehues, Judith

    () (Cologne Institute for Economic Research)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    () (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Abstract

How do different components of the tax and transfer systems affect disposable income inequality? This paper explores the redistributive effects of different tax benefit instruments in the enlarged EU based on two approaches. Inequality analysis based on the standard approach suggests that benefits are the most important factor reducing inequality in the majority of countries. The factor source decomposition approach, however, suggests that benefits play a negligible role and sometimes even contribute slightly positive to inequality. On the contrary, here taxes and social contributions are by far the most important contributors to income inequality reduction. We explain these partly contradictory results with the different normative focus of the two approaches and show that benefits have other aims than redistribution. Finally, our country clustering shows that the Eastern European countries do not form a distinguished group. The Central Eastern European countries group together with the Continental European countries and the Baltic States show similarities with some Southern European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuest, Clemens & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU," IZA Discussion Papers 4520, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4520
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4520.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cowell, Frank A. & Kuga, Kiyoshi, 1981. "Additivity and the entropy concept: An axiomatic approach to inequality measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 131-143, August.
    2. Immervoll, Herwig & Levy, Horacio & Lietz, Christine & Mantovani, Daniela & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly & Verbist, Gerlinde, 2005. "Household Incomes and Redistribution in the European Union: Quantifying the Equalising Properties of Taxes and Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 1824, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Anna Fräßdorf & Markus M. Grabka & Johannes Schwarze, 2008. "The impact of household capital income on income inequality: A factor decomposition analysis for Great Britain, Germany and the USA," Working Papers 89, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Sudhir Anand & Paul Segal, 2008. "What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 57-94, March.
    5. Michael Förster & Peter Whiteford, 2009. "How much Redistribution do Welfare States Achieve? The Role of Cash Transfers and Household Taxes," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(3), pages 34-41, October.
    6. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:14567070 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Koen Caminada & Chen Wang, 2011. "Disentangling Income Inequality and the Redistributive Effect of Social Transfers and Taxes in 36 LIS Countries," LIS Working papers 567, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Urrutia & Oscar Volij, 2011. "An Axiomatic Characterization Of The Theil Inequality Order," Working Papers 1103, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    3. Fabio Clementi & Mauro Gallegati & Giorgio Kaniadakis, 2010. "A model of personal income distribution with application to Italian data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 559-591, October.
    4. Miguel Niño‐Zarazúa & Laurence Roope & Finn Tarp, 2017. "Global Inequality: Relatively Lower, Absolutely Higher," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(4), pages 661-684, December.
    5. Satya R. Chakravarty & Pietro Muliere, 2003. "Welfare indicators: A review and new perspectives. 1. Measurement of inequality," Metron - International Journal of Statistics, Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate - University of Rome, vol. 0(3), pages 457-497.
    6. Jose Maria Sarabia & Francisco Azpitarte, 2012. "On the relationship between objective and subjective inequality indices and the natural rate of subjective inequality," Working Papers 248, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    7. Maria Ana Lugo & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2008. "Multidimensional Poverty Measures from an Information Theory Perspective," Working Papers 85, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Cockburn, John & Duclos, Jean-Yves & Zabsonré, Agnès, 2014. "Is global social welfare increasing? A critical-level enquiry," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 151-162.
    9. Satya Chakravarty & Swami Tyagarupananda, 2009. "The subgroup decomposable intermediate indices of inequality," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 83-97, June.
    10. Gayant, Jean-Pascal & Le Pape, Nicolas, 2017. "Increasing Nth degree inequality," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 185-189.
    11. Christoph Lakner & Branko Milanovic, 2016. "Global Income Distribution: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the Great Recession," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 203-232.
    12. Martin Ravallion, 2018. "Inequality and Globalization: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 620-642, June.
    13. Fabio Clementi & Mauro Gallegati & Giorgio Kaniadakis, 2012. "A new model of income distribution: the κ-generalized distribution," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 63-91, January.
    14. Anthony Shorrocks, 2009. "On the measurement of unemployment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(3), pages 311-327, September.
    15. Koen Decancq, 2017. "Measuring Multidimensional Inequality in the OECD Member Countries with a Distribution-Sensitive Better Life Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 1057-1086, April.
    16. Ebert U., 1996. "Income inequality and differences in household size," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 57-58, February.
    17. B. Capéau & A. Decoster, 2003. "The Rise or Fall of World Inequality Big Issue or Apparent Controversy?," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(4), pages 547-572.
    18. F. A. Cowell, 1985. "‘A Fair Suck of the Sauce Bottle’ or What Do You Mean by Inequality?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(2), pages 567-579, June.
    19. La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul & Christoph Lakner, 2020. "The Distribution of Consumption Expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Inequality Among All Africans," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 29(1), pages 1-25.
    20. Ali T. Cem Başlevent, 2014. "Social Transfers and Income Inequality in Turkey: How Informative Is the Survey of Income and Living Conditions?," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-42, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax benefit systems; redistribution; decomposition; inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

    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:iza:izadps:dp4520. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.