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The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Income Inequality, Poverty, and the Urban-Rural And Regional Income Gaps in China

Author

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  • Nora Lustig

    (Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Economics, Tulane University, Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ).)

  • Yang Wang

    (Institute of Economics and Finance, Nanjing Audit University, China)

Abstract

China is characterized by high prefiscal overall, urban-rural and regional inequality. Applying standard fiscal incidence analysis, we estimate the redistributive effect of taxes and social spending on income distribution and poverty. In particular, we estimate the effect of direct and indirect taxes, direct cash transfers, contributory pensions, indirect subsidies, and in-kind transfers (education and health) on overall inequality and poverty, the urban-rural income gap, and income inequality between regions. The results show that the fiscal system is inequality- reducing overall and between regions. However, the urban-rural gap rises and the postfiscal headcount ratio is higher than prefiscal poverty in rural areas. Both are undesirable outcomes given that rural residents are poorer. They are largely explained by the considerably lower contributory pensions received by rural residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Lustig & Yang Wang, 2020. "The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Income Inequality, Poverty, and the Urban-Rural And Regional Income Gaps in China," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 93, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:ceqwps:93
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    Cited by:

    1. Lugo, Maria Ana & Niu, Chiyu & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2021. "Rural Poverty Reduction and Economic Transformation in China: A Decomposition Approach," SocArXiv 8rbgw, Center for Open Science.
    2. Lugo, Maria Ana & Raiser, Martin & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2022. "China's economic transformation and poverty reduction over the years: An overview," KCG Policy Papers 8, Kiel Centre for Globalization (KCG).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty and Inequality in China; Urban-Rural Gap; Regional Disparity; Taxes; Transfers; Incidence Analysis; Test;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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