IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lis/liswps/729.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Income Redistribution Through Taxes and Transfers across OECD Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Orsetta Causa
  • Mikkel Hermansen

Abstract

This paper produces a comprehensive assessment of income redistribution to the working-age population, covering OECD countries over the last two decades. Redistribution is quantified as the relative reduction in market income inequality achieved by personal income taxes, employees’ social security contributions and cash transfers, based on household-level micro data. A detailed decomposition analysis uncovers the respective roles of size, tax progressivity and transfer targeting for overall redistribution, the respective role of various categories of transfers for transfer redistribution; as well as redistribution for various income groups. The paper shows a widespread decline in redistribution across the OECD, both on average and in the majority of countries for which data going back to the mid-1990s are available. This was primarily associated with a decline in cash transfer redistribution while personal income taxes played a less important and more heterogeneous role across countries. In turn, the decline in the redistributive effect of cash transfers reflected a decline in their size and in particular by less redistributive insurance transfers. In some countries, this was mitigated by more redistributive assistance transfers but the resulting increase in the targeting of total transfers was not sufficient to prevent transfer redistribution from declining.

Suggested Citation

  • Orsetta Causa & Mikkel Hermansen, 2018. "Income Redistribution Through Taxes and Transfers across OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 729, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:729
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.lisdatacenter.org/wps/liswps/729.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2010. "Analysing the effects of tax-benefit reforms on income distribution: a decomposition approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, March.
    2. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    3. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Appendix to "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States"," Working Papers 201604, World Inequality Lab.
    4. Yingying Deng & Monica Prasad, 2009. "Taxation and the Worlds of Welfare," LIS Working papers 480, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-56.
    6. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan & Karina Doorley & Claire Keane, 2017. "Changes in Income Distributions and the Role of Tax‐Benefit Policy During the Great Recession: An International Perspective," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 38, pages 559-585, December.
    7. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    8. Andersen, Torben M & Maibom, Jonas, 2016. "The big trade-off between efficiency and equity - is it there?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11189, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Elvire Guillaud & Matthew Olckers & Michaël Zemmour, 2020. "Four Levers of Redistribution: The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Inequality Reduction," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 444-466, June.
    10. Orsetta Causa & Alain de Serres & Nicolas Ruiz, 2015. "Can pro-growth policies lift all boats?: An analysis based on household disposable income," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2015(1), pages 227-268.
    11. Stefan Bach & Martin Beznoska & Viktor Steiner, 2016. "Who Bears the Tax Burden in Germany? Tax Structure Slightly Progressive," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(51/52), pages 601-608.
    12. Oguzhan Akgun & Boris Cournède & Jean-Marc Fournier, 2017. "The effects of the tax mix on inequality and growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1447, OECD Publishing.
    13. Anthony Shorrocks, 2013. "Decomposition procedures for distributional analysis: a unified framework based on the Shapley value," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(1), pages 99-126, March.
    14. Olof Robling & Jon Pareliussen, 2017. "Structural inequality: The case of Sweden," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1382, OECD Publishing.
    15. Jean-Marc Fournier & Åsa Johansson, 2016. "The Effect of the Size and the Mix of Public Spending on Growth and Inequality," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1344, OECD Publishing.
    16. Hoynes, Hilary W. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2011. "The insurance value of state tax-and-transfer programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1466-1484.
    17. Niklas Bengtsson & Bertil Holmlund & Daniel Waldenström, 2016. "Lifetime versus Annual Tax-and-Transfer Progressivity: Sweden, 1968–2009," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(4), pages 619-645, October.
    18. David K. Jesuit & Vincent A. Mahler, 2010. "Comparing Government Redistribution Across Countries: The Problem of Second-Order Effects," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(s1), pages 1390-1404.
    19. 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).
    20. Ursula Dallinger, 2011. "The Endangered Middle Class? A Comparative Analysis of the Role Public Redistribution Plays," LIS Working papers 565, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    21. Vincent Mahler & David Jesuit, 2010. "Comparing Government Redistribution across Countries: The Problem of Second-order Effects," LIS Working papers 546, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    22. Joakim Palme & Walter Korpi, 1998. "The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality: Welfare State Institutions, Inequality and Poverty in the Western Countries," LIS Working papers 174, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    23. A. Bovenberg & Martin Hansen & Peter Sørensen, 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance: rationale and alternative designs," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(1), pages 67-86, February.
    24. Ivica Urban, 2009. "Kakwani decomposition of redistributive effect: Origins, critics and upgrades," Working Papers 148, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    25. Bert Brys & Sarah Perret & Alastair Thomas & Pierce O’Reilly, 2016. "Tax Design for Inclusive Economic Growth," OECD Taxation Working Papers 26, OECD Publishing.
    26. Plotnick, Robert, 1981. "A Measure of Horizontal Inequity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 283-288, May.
    27. 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.
    28. Peter Levell & Barra Roantree & Jonathan Shaw, 2015. "Redistribution from a lifetime perspective," IFS Working Papers W15/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    29. Bovenberg, A.L. & Hansen, M. & Sorensen, P.B., 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance : Rationale and alternative designs," Other publications TiSEM 72e236b0-ad63-4bea-a314-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    30. Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debbie Bloch, 2012. "Tackling income inequality: The role of taxes and transfers," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 37-70.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Petra Sauer & Narasimha D. Rao & Shonali Pachauri, 2020. "Explaining income inequality trends: An integrated approach," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-65, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    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. Orsetta Causa & Mikkel Hermansen, 2017. "Income redistribution through taxes and transfers across OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1453, OECD Publishing.
    2. Orsetta Causa & Anna Vindics & Oguzhan Akgun, 2018. "An empirical investigation on the drivers of income redistribution across OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1488, OECD Publishing.
    3. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard & Chen Wang & Jinxian Wang, 2019. "Income Inequality and Fiscal Redistribution in 31 Countries After the Crisis," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 61(1), pages 119-148, March.
    4. Elvire Guillaud & Matthew Olckers & Michaël Zemmour, 2020. "Four Levers of Redistribution: The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Inequality Reduction," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 444-466, June.
    5. Charlotte Bartels & Dirk Neumann, 2018. "Redistribution and Insurance in Welfare States around the World," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 985, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Pierce O’Reilly, 2018. "Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world," OECD Taxation Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
    7. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2013. "Distributional benchmarking in tax policy evaluations," Discussion Papers 765, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Malte Luebker, 2014. "Income Inequality, Redistribution, and Poverty: Contrasting Rational Choice and Behavioral Perspectives," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 133-154, March.
    9. Boris Cournède & Jean-Marc Fournier & Peter Hoeller, 2018. "Public finance structure and inclusive growth," OECD Economic Policy Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
    10. Cem Baslevent, 2016. "Social Transfers and Income Inequality in Turkey: How Important is the Gender Dimension?," Working Papers 1013, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2016.
    11. Peter Levell & Barra Roantree & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Mobility and the lifetime distributional impact of tax and transfer reforms," IFS Working Papers W16/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    12. Åsa Johansson, 2016. "Public Finance, Economic Growth and Inequality: A Survey of the Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1346, OECD Publishing.
    13. Julio López Laborda & Carmen Marín González & Jorge Onrubia, 2019. "Observatorio sobre el reparto de los impuestos y las prestaciones monetarias entre los hogares españoles. Cuarto informe: 2016 y 2017," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2019-36, FEDEA.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Jekaterina Navickė & Romas Lazutka, 2018. "Distributional Implications of the Economic Development in the Baltics: Reconciling Micro and Macro Perspectives," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 187-206, July.
    17. Boschini, Anne & Gunnarsson, Kristin & Roine, Jesper, 2017. "Women in Top Incomes: Evidence from Sweden 1974–2013," IZA Discussion Papers 10979, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Claire Keane & Michael Savage & John Walsh, 2014. "Crisis, response and distributional impact: the case of Ireland," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    19. Hideki Konishi & Naomi Miyazato, 2018. "Distributive Impacts of Social Protection Systems in OECD Countries: Public-Private Mix and Hidden Welfare States," Working Papers 1804, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    20. Victor Amoureux & Elvire Guillaud & Michaël Zemmour, 2019. "It Takes Two to Tango Income and Payroll Taxes in Progressive Tax Systems," Working Papers hal-02735278, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; redistribution; taxes; transfers; progressivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    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:lis:liswps:729. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lisprlu.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Piotr Paradowski (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lisprlu.html .

    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.