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Fiscal Policy and Equality of Opportunity in Uruguay

Listed author(s):
  • Marisa Bucheli

    ()

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

According to the standard indicators of distributive effect, Uruguayan fiscal policy (in particular, social spending) is progressive. The aim of this paper is to compare this result with the conclusions derived from the perspective of equality of opportunity. Under this view, fiscal policy should equalize not the overall income but eliminate the effect of factors beyond the responsibility of individuals (circumstances). To assess the distributive effect of fiscal policy we calculate the Gini index for different income concepts which take into account different programs of the tax-benefit system. Then, we calculate the equality of opportunity for each income concept. Circumstances identified in this paper are the level of education attained by parents and self-reported ethnicity. To analyze the robustness of the results, we calculate several measures used in the empirical literature of equality of opportunities. Though according to the welfarist analysis we conclude that the tax-benefit system has an equalizing effect, we cannot conclude that it compensates the disadvantages due to circumstances.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 0314.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0314
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Web page: http://cienciassociales.edu.uy/departamentodeeconomia/
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  1. Brunori, Paolo & Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Peragine, Vito, 2013. "Inequality of opportunity, income inequality and economic mobility : some international comparisons," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6304, The World Bank.
  2. X. Ramos & D. Van De Gaer, 2012. "Empirical Approaches to Inequality of Opportunity: Principles, Measures, and Evidence," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/792, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. 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.
  4. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  5. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
  6. Roemer, John E. & Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Fritzell, Johan & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Lefranc, Arnaud & Marx, Ive & Page, Marianne & Pommer, Evert & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 539-565, March.
  7. John E. Roemer, 2002. "Equality of opportunity: A progress report," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(2), pages 455-471.
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