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On the middle 70%. The impact of fiscal policy on the emerging middle class in Latin America using Commitment to Equity

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Daude

    () (Development Bank of Latin America - CAF)

  • Nora Lustig

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Angel Melguizo

    () (OECD Development Centre)

  • Jose Ramon Perea

    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of indirect and direct taxes, as well as monetary and in-kind transfers on the income distribution in nine Latin American countries applying the CEQ methodology and using household and expenditure microdata around 2010. In particular, we focus on the effect of fiscal policies on two groups of the emerging middle class: the vulnerable and the middle class. We find that while the vulnerable tend to be net receivers in fiscal terms, especially when including in-kind transfers, the middle class seems to be mainly a net payer. This might be aggravated by the perception of a relatively low quality of in-kind transfers, notably in education and health-care services. We provide some evidence based on subjective surveys pointing in this direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Daude & Nora Lustig & Angel Melguizo & Jose Ramon Perea, 2017. "On the middle 70%. The impact of fiscal policy on the emerging middle class in Latin America using Commitment to Equity," Working Papers 1716, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1716
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    File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1716.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee, 2008. "What is Middle Class About the Middle Classes Around the World?," Working Papers id:1363, eSocialSciences.
    2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008. "What Is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 3-28.
    3. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-335, December.
    4. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 6-16.
    5. Nora Lustig & Carola Pessino & John Scott, 2014. "The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(3), pages 287-303, May.
    6. Roberto Angulo & Alejandro Gaviria Uribe & Liliana Morales, 2014. "La década ganada: evolución de la clase media, la pobreza y la vulnerabilidad en Colombia 2002-2011," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, June.
    7. Nora Lustig & George Gray-Molina & Sean Higgins & Miguel Jaramillo & Wilson Jiménez & Veronica Paz & Claudiney Pereira & Carola Pessino & John Scott & Ernesto Yañez, 2012. "The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru: a synthesis of results," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 03, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. Angel Melguizo, 2015. "Pensions, informality, and the emerging middle class," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 169-169.
    9. Melguizo, Angel & Bosch, Mariano & Pages, Carmen, 2017. "Better pensions, better jobs: status and alternatives toward universal pension coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, pages 121-143.
    10. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James & Seth, Suman & Santos, Maria Emma & Roche, Jose Manuel & Ballon, Paola, 2015. "Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199689491.
    11. Nora Lustig & Sean Higgins, 2012. "Fiscal Incidence, Fiscal Mobility and the Poor: a New Approach," Working Papers 265, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Middle class; tax-benefit analysis; fiscal incidence; fiscal mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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