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Household incomes in New Zealand: The impact of the market, taxes and government spending, 1987/88–1997/98

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Abstract

How well have New Zealand households fared over a decade of extensive economic and social changes? This study compares household incomes in 1997/98 with household incomes in 1987/88, using the concept of "final income". Final income is a measure of the income accruing to households after adjusting for payments to, and benefits from, central government, whether these benefits are in cash or in kind. In particular, receipt of government health and education services is counted as adding to a household’s income, and payment of consumption taxes is counted as taking away from a household’s income. In all income deciles, the real final incomes of households were, on average, at least the same in 1997/98 as they were in 1987/88, and in most cases had increased. Government intervention, through taxes, cash benefits and social services, has maintained the incomes of less well-off households over a period of upheaval in New Zealand.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Crawford & Grant Johnston, 2004. "Household incomes in New Zealand: The impact of the market, taxes and government spending, 1987/88–1997/98," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/20, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:04/20
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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2004/04-20/twp04-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. O'Higgins, Michael & Schmaus, Guenther & Stephenson, Geoffrey, 1989. "Income Distribution and Redistribution: A Microdata Analysis for Seven Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(2), pages 107-131, June.
    2. Podder, Nripesh & Chatterjee, Srikanta, 2002. "Sharing the national cake in post reform New Zealand: income inequality trends in terms of income sources," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-27, October.
    3. Des O'Dea, 2000. "The Changes in New Zealand's Income Distribution," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/13, New Zealand Treasury.
    4. Radner, Daniel B, 1997. "Noncash Income, Equivalence Scales, and the Measurement of Economic Well-Being," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(1), pages 71-88, March.
    5. Ruggles, Patricia & O'Higgins, Michael, 1981. "The Distribution of Public Expenditure among Households in the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 27(2), pages 137-164, June.
    6. O'Higgins, Michael & Ruggles, Patricia, 1981. "The Distribution of Public Expenditures and Taxes among Households in the United Kingdom," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 27(3), pages 298-326, September.
    7. Richard A. Musgrave & Karl E. Case & Herman Leonard, 1974. "The Distribution of Fiscal Burdens and Benefits," Public Finance Review, , vol. 2(3), pages 259-311, July.
    8. Danziger, Sheldon & Taussig, Michael K, 1979. "The Income Unit and the Anatomy of Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 365-375, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    final income; income distribution; redistribution; fiscal incidence; income inequality; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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