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The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in El Salvador

Author

Listed:
  • Margarita Beneke

    () (FUSADES, El Salvador)

  • Nora Lustig

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Jose Andres Oliva

    () (FUSADES, El Salvador)

Abstract

We conducted a fiscal impact study to estimate the effect of taxes, social spending, and subsidies on inequality and poverty in El Salvador, using the CEQ methodology. Taxes are progressive, but given their volume, their impact is limited. Direct transfers are concentrated on poor households, but their budget is small so their effect is limited; a significant portion of the subsidies goes to households in the upper income deciles, so although their budget is greater, their impact is low. The component that has the greatest effect on inequality is spending on education and health. Therefore, the impact of fiscal policy is limited and low when compared with other countries with a similar level of per capita income. There is room for improvement using current resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Margarita Beneke & Nora Lustig & Jose Andres Oliva, 2017. "The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in El Salvador," Working Papers 1709, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1709
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1709.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nora Lustig, 2016. "Commitment to Equity Handbook. A Guide to Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 1301, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    2. Ali Enami, 2017. "Measuring the Effectiveness of Taxes and Transfers in Fighting Inequality and Poverty," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 64, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:tul:ceqwps:1304 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vito Tanzi, 2013. "Tax reform in Latin America: a long term assessment," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 15, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    5. Nora Lustig, 2013. "Commitment to Equity: Diagnostic Questionnaire," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 1302, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    6. Lambert, Peter J, 1985. "On the Redistributive Effect of Taxes and Benefits," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 39-54, February.
    7. Beckerman, W, 1979. "The Impact of Income Maintenance Payments on Poverty in Britain, 1975," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(354), pages 261-279, June.
    8. Rodrigo Cubero & Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, 2010. "Equity and Fiscal Policy; The Income Distribution Effects of Taxation and Social Spending in Central America," IMF Working Papers 10/112, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Vito Tanzi, 2013. "Tax reform in Latin America: a long term assessment," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 1315, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    10. Nora Lustig, 2013. "Commitment to Equity: Diagnostic Questionnaire," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 02, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal incidence; poverty; inequality; El Salvador;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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