The Impact of Redistributive Policies on Inequality in OECD Countries

36 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014

See all articles by Philipp Dörrenberg

Philipp Dörrenberg

University of Mannheim; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Andreas Peichl

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

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Date Written: February 3, 2014

Abstract

Due to behavioral effects triggered by redistributional interventions, it is still an open question whether government policies are able to effectively reduce income inequality. We contribute to this research question by using different country-level data sources to study inequality trends in OECD countries since 1980. We first investigate the development of inequality over time before analyzing the question of whether governments can effectively reduce inequality. Different identification strategies, using fixed effects and instrumental variables models, provide some evidence that governments are capable of reducing income inequality despite countervailing behavioral responses. The effect is stronger for social expenditure policies than for progressive taxation.

Keywords: Inequality, Redistribution, Social Expenditure, Progressive Taxation

JEL Classification: D31, D60, H20

Suggested Citation

Dörrenberg, Philipp and Peichl, Andreas, The Impact of Redistributive Policies on Inequality in OECD Countries (February 3, 2014). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 14-012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2391203

Philipp Dörrenberg

University of Mannheim ( email )

L 7, 3-5
Mannheim, 68161
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Munich
Germany

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Andreas Peichl (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

University of Mannheim - School of Economics (VWL) ( email )

Mannheim 68131
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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