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Fiscal Policy, Income Redistribution and Poverty Reduction in Low and Middle Income Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Nora Lustig

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

Using comparable fiscal incidence analysis, this paper examines the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in twenty-nine low and middle income countries for around 2010. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redistributive efforts (share of social spending to GDP in each country) and the extent to which transfers are targeted to the poor and direct taxes targeted to the rich. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty. While spending on pre-school and primary school is pro-poor (the per capita transfer declines with income) in almost all countries, pro-poor secondary school spending is less prevalent, and tertiary education spending tends to be progressive only in relative terms (equalizing, but not pro-poor). Health spending is always equalizing except for in Jordan.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1701r.pdf
File Function: Revised Version, August 2017
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Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1701.

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Date of creation: Jan 2017
Date of revision: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1701
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  1. Marisa Bucheli & Nora Lustig & Máximo Rossi & Florencia Amábile, 2014. "Social Spending, Taxes, and Income Redistribution in Uruguay," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 413-433, May.
  2. Martinez Aguilar,Sandra Natalia & Fuchs Tarlovsky,Alan & Ortiz-Juarez,Eduardo & Del Carmen Hasbun,Giselle Eugenia, 2017. "The impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7939, The World Bank.
  3. Branko Milanovic & Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2016. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62, pages 22-46, 08.
  4. Darío Rossignolo, 2016. "Taxes, Expenditures, Poverty and Income Distribution in Argentina," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 45, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  5. Cabrera, Maynor & Lustig, Nora & Morán, Hilcías E., 2015. "Fiscal Policy, Inequality, and the Ethnic Divide in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 263-279.
  6. Ali Enami & Nora Lustig & Rodrigo Aranda, 2016. "Analytic Foundations: Measuring the Redistributive Impact of Taxes and Transfers," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 25, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  7. Ali Enami, 2016. "Measuring the Redistributive Impact of Taxes and Transfers in the Presence of Reranking," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 59, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  8. Ali Enami & Nora Lustig & Alireza Taqdiri, 2016. "Fiscal policy, inequality and poverty in Iran: Assessing the impact and effectiveness of taxes and transfers," Working Papers 417, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  9. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
  10. Sean Higgins & Claudiney Pereira, 2014. "The Effects of Brazil’s Taxation and Social Spending on the Distribution of Household Income," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 346-367, May.
  11. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2000. "Expenditure incidence in Africa: microeconomic evidence," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(3), pages 329-347, September.
  12. Maynor Cabrera, Nora Lustig, and Hilcías E. Morán, 2015. "Fiscal Policy, Inequality, and the Ethnic Divide in Guatemala - Working Paper 397," Working Papers 397, Center for Global Development.
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