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Progressivity, Redistribution and Equity, with Application to the British Tax and Benefit System


  • DUCLOS, Jean-Yves


We propose a general class of indices of horizontal inequity that complements existing classes of progressivity and vertical equity indices. The class of horizontal inequity indices can also correct for biases in measuring a general class of inequality measures. We illustrate our results using the 1985 British tax and benefit system, highlighting the separate contribution of individual taxes and benefits to the overall indices of progressivity, vertical equity, horizontal inequity, and inequality reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • DUCLOS, Jean-Yves, 1994. "Progressivity, Redistribution and Equity, with Application to the British Tax and Benefit System," Cahiers de recherche 9403, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9403

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    9. Douglas W. Caves & Laurits R. Christensen & Michael W. Tretheway, 1984. "Economies of Density versus Economies of Scale: Why Trunk and Local Service Airline Costs Differ," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 471-489, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1998. "Social evaluation functions, economic isolation and the Suits index of progressivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 103-121, July.
    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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Jalbert, Vincent & Araar, Abdelkrim, 2000. "Classical Horizontal Inequity and Reranking: an Integrated Approach," Cahiers de recherche 0002, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    4. Duclos, J.Y., 1995. "Economic Isolation, Inequality, and the Suits Index of Progressivity," Papers 9510, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
    5. 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.
    6. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1997. "The asymptotic distribution of linear indices of inequality, progressivity and redistribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 51-57, January.
    7. John A. Bishop & John P. Formby & Peter Lambert, 1999. "Redistribution Through the Income Tax: The Vertical and Horizontal Effects of Noncompliance and Tax Evasion," Working Papers 9916, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
    8. André DECOSTER & Guy VAN CAMP, 2000. "Redistributive Effects of the Shift from Personal Income Taxes to Indirect Taxes: Belgium 1988-1993," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0007, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    9. John A Bishop & John P Formby & Peter Lambert, "undated". "Redistribution Through the Income Tax: The Vertical and Horizontal Effects of Noncompliance and Tax Evasion," Discussion Papers 99/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Ivica Urban, 2009. "Kakwani decomposition of redistributive effect: Origins, critics and upgrades," Working Papers 148, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    11. Andrá Decoster & Guy Van Camp, 2001. "Redistributive effects of the shift from personal income taxes to indirect taxes: Belgium 1988-93," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 79-106, March.
    12. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 1997. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1453-1466, November.
    13. Carlos Gradín, 2017. "Segregation of women into low-paying occupations in the US," Working Papers 426, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    14. Ewa Aksman, 2003. "Household Current Income Distribution in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 9.
    15. Ivica Urban, 2010. "Decomposing Redistributive and Reranking Effects to Reveal Contributions of Taxes and Benefits," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 85, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    16. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2013. "Distributional benchmarking in tax policy evaluations," Discussion Papers 765, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    17. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Jalbert, Vincent & Araar, Abdelkrim, 2003. "Classical Horizontal Inequity and Reranking: an Integrating Approach," Cahiers de recherche 0306, CIRPEE.
    18. Irene Perrote Coste & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez Hernández & Rafael Salas del Marmol, 2001. "A non-parametric decomposition of redistribution into vertical and horizontal components," Documentos de trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales 01-07, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
    19. Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Gini Indices and the Redistribution of Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(2), pages 141-162, March.
    20. DUCLOS, Jean-Yves, 1995. "Relative Performance, Relative Deprivation and Generalised Gini Indices of Inequality and Horizontal Inequity," Cahiers de recherche 9514, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    21. Jean-Yves Duclos & Peter Lambert, "undated". "A Normative Approach to Measuring Classical Horizontal Inequity," Discussion Papers 97/3, Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item


    Progressivity; Horizontal Equity; Income Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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