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Did VAT change redistribute purchasing power in Italy?

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  • Paolo Liberati

Abstract

This paper assesses the effects of the changes of the Value Added Tax (VAT) rates in Italy for the period 1988-1997, questioning their overall redistributive impact compared with an equal-revenue proportional tax rate. By using the theory of marginal tax reforms and the AWARETAX microsimulation model, it is shown that most real relative price changes due to the selective use of VAT rates have caused a welfare loss which is increasingly negative in the degree of inequality aversion. It means that many VAT changes implemented during the last decade have been welfare inferior to a distributionally neutral proportional change of all VAT rates providing the same revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Liberati, 2000. "Did VAT change redistribute purchasing power in Italy?," Working Papers 40, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp40
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
    2. Ahmad,Etisham & Stern,Nicholas, 1991. "The Theory and Practice of Tax Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521265638, May.
    3. Nichele, Veronique & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1995. "Simulation of indirect tax reforms using pooled micro and macro French data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 225-244, February.
    4. Madden, David, 1995. "Labour Supply, Commodity Demand and Marginal Tax Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 485-497, March.
    5. Murty, M N & Ray, Ranjan, 1989. " A Computational Procedure for Calculating Optimal Commodity Taxes with Illustrative Evidence from Indian Budget Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(4), pages 655-670.
    6. John Creedy, 1996. "Fiscal Policy and Social Welfare," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 797.
    7. Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
    8. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-597, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marginal tax reforms; VAT; Redistribution; Social Welfare; Italy.;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • 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

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