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Automatic Stabilizers, Economic Crisis and Income Distribution in Europe

Author

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  • Dolls, Mathias

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Fuest, Clemens

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    () (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent the tax and transfer systems in Europe protect households at different income levels against losses in current income caused by economic downturns like the present financial crisis. We use a multi country micro simulation model to analyse how shocks on market income and employment are mitigated by taxes and transfers. We find that the aggregate redistributive effect of the tax and transfer systems increases in response to the shocks. But the extent to which households are protected differs across income levels and countries. In particular, there is little stabilization of disposable income for low income groups in Eastern and Southern European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers, Economic Crisis and Income Distribution in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 4917, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4917
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. François Bourguignon & Amedeo Spadaro, 2006. "Microsimulation as a tool for evaluating redistribution policies," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(1), pages 77-106, April.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-472, May.
    3. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    4. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & John Walsh, 2011. "The Economic Crisis, Public Sector Pay and the Income Distribution," Research in Labor Economics, in: Herwig Immervoll & Andreas Peichl & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.),Who Loses in the Downturn? Economic Crisis, Employment and Income Distribution, volume 32, pages 207-225, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    5. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2009. "What Should Be Done about Rising Unemployment in the UK?," IZA Discussion Papers 4040, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Thiess Buettner & Clemens Fuest, 2010. "The role of the corporate income tax as an automatic stabilizer," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(6), pages 686-698, December.
    7. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 37-56, Summer.
    8. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2010. "Inequality Trends in Sweden 1978-2004," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 179-208, January.
    9. Devereux, Michael P. & Fuest, Clemens, 2009. "Is the Corporation Tax an Effective Automatic Stabilizer?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 62(3), pages 429-437, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Basso, Gaetano & Dolls, Mathias & Eichhorst, Werner & Leoni, Thomas & Peichl, Andreas, 2011. "The Effects of the Recent Economic Crisis on Social Protection and Labour Market Arrangements across Socio-Economic Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 6080, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. European Commission, 2013. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2013 Report," Taxation Papers 38, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    3. Kaldewei, Cornelia & Weller, Jürgen, 2013. "Empleo, crecimiento sostenible e igualdad," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 145, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    4. Bruno Martorano, 2013. "The Australian Household Stimulus Package: Lessons from the recent economic crisis," Papers inwopa697, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan & Javier Olivera, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," Working Papers 1403, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    6. Michał Brzeziński, 2015. "Inequality of opportunity in Europe before and after the Great Recession," Working Papers 2015-02, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    7. Stevan Luković, 2014. "The Role Of The Automatic Stabilizers In Modern Economy," Ekonomika, Journal for Economic Theory and Practice and Social Issues 2014-01, „Ekonomika“ Society of Economists, Niš (Serbia).
    8. Paolo D’Imperio & Waltraud Schelkle, 2017. "What Difference Would a Capital Markets Union Make for Risk-Sharing in the EU?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 86(2), pages 77-88.
    9. Schelkle, Waltraud, 2017. "Hamilton’s Paradox Revisited: Alternative lessons from US history," CEPS Papers 12963, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    10. Günther Schmid, 2015. "Sharing Risks of Labour Market Transitions: Towards a System of Employment Insurance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 70-93, March.
    11. Brzezinski, Michal, 2018. "Income inequality and the Great Recession in Central and Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 219-247.
    12. Fabrizio Mattesini & Lorenza Rossi, 2012. "Monetary Policy and Automatic Stabilizers: The Role of Progressive Taxation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(5), pages 825-862, August.
    13. Giorgio Motta & Patrizio Tirelli, 2012. "Optimal Simple Monetary and Fiscal Rules under Limited Asset Market Participation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1374, October.
    14. Nolan, Brian & Richiardi, Matteo & Valenzuela, Luis, 2018. "The Drivers of Inequality in Rich Countries," MPRA Paper 89806, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crisis; inequality; automatic stabilization; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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