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The effects of the tax mix on inequality and growth

Author

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  • Oguzhan Akgun
  • Boris Cournède
  • Jean-Marc Fournier

Abstract

Can reforms that shift the balance among different taxes in the revenue mix lastingly influence the overall prosperity of an economy and the distribution of income across households? The present study takes this question to the data, using the experience of 34 OECD countries over 1980-2014 to assess the effects of changes in the tax structure on the long-term level of average output per capita and the distribution of disposable income across households. Changing the revenue mix while keeping government size constant typically lift long-term output per capita when they involve cuts in the labour tax wedge below or above average incomes, cuts in corporate income taxes or increases in property taxes. The relative-income effects of revenue-neutral reductions in labour tax wedges are broadly in line with intuition: the relative position of those benefitting from them typically improves. In absolute terms, however, nearly all the income distribution benefits from revenue-neutral reductions in labour tax wedges, be they focused on below or average income earners.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1447-en
    DOI: 10.1787/c57eaa14-en
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/c57eaa14-en
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    3. 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.
    4. Orsetta Causa & Mikkel Hermansen, 2017. "Income redistribution through taxes and transfers across OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1453, OECD Publishing.
    5. Christophe André & Hyunjeong Hwang, 2018. "Tax reform to support growth and employment in Finland," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1468, OECD Publishing.
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    8. Bertrand Achou & Yann Décarie & Luc Godbout & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Julien Navaux & Suzie St-Cerny, 2021. "Mitiger les impacts économiques du vieillissement sur la croissance et les recettes publiques : la piste du redosage fiscal," Cahiers de recherche / Working Papers 2102, Chaire de recherche sur les enjeux économiques intergénérationnels / Research Chair in Intergenerational Economics.
    9. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Olivier Durand-Lasserve, 2018. "The drivers of regional growth in Russia: A baseline model with applications," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1523, OECD Publishing.
    10. Jean-Marc Fournier & Manuel Bétin, 2018. "Sovereign defaults: Evidence on the importance of government effectiveness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1494, OECD Publishing.
    11. Yixia Cai & Martin Evans, 2018. "Informal Transfers in Comparisons of Income Distributions: Lessons from Rich and Middle-Income Countries," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 26(2), pages 1-20, July.
    12. Julio López Laborda & Carmen Marín González & Jorge Onrubia, 2018. "Tipo reducido, superreducido y exenciones en el IVA: una estimación de sus efectos recaudatorios y distributivos a partir de las encuestas de hogares," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2018-23, FEDEA.
    13. Robert Hagemann, 2018. "Tax Policies for Inclusive Growth: Prescription versus Practice," OECD Economic Policy Papers 24, OECD Publishing.
    14. Christine Lewis & Patrice Ollivaud, 2020. "Policies for Switzerland’s ageing society," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1600, OECD Publishing.
    15. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    growth; household disposable income; inequality; tax; taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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