OECD Journal: Economic Studies

Frequency :
Annual
ISSN :
1995-2856 (online)
ISSN :
1995-2848 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19952856
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OECD Journal: Economic Studies publishes articles in the area of economic policy analysis, applied economics and statistical analysis, generally with an international or cross-country dimension. While it draws significantly on economic papers produced by the Economics Department and other parts of the OECD Secretariat for the Organisation’s intergovernmental committees, the submission of articles produced by non-OECD authors is encouraged. We also welcome comments on articles previously published in the journal. Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

Article
 

Tackling income inequality

The role of taxes and transfers You do not have access to this content

 
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Author(s):
Isabelle Joumard, Mauro Pisu, Debbie Bloch
Publication Date
04 Jan 2013
Pages
2
Bibliographic information
No.:
2,
Volume:
2012,
Issue:
1
Pages
37–70
DOI
10.1787/eco_studies-2012-5k95xd6l65lt

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Taxes and transfers reduce inequality in disposable income relative to market income. The effect varies, however, across OECD countries. The redistributive impact of taxes and transfers depends on the size, mix and the progressivity of each component. Some countries with a relatively small tax and welfare system (e.g. Australia) achieve the same redistributive impact as countries characterised by much higher taxes and transfers (e.g. Germany) because they rely more on income taxes, which are more progressive than other taxes, and on means-tested cash transfers. This article provides an assessment of the redistributive effect of the main taxes and cash transfers, based on various OECD data sources, a set of policy indicators and a literature review. Using cluster analysis, it also identifies empirically four groups of countries with tax and transfer systems that share broadly similar features.