Inequality, Poverty, and Social Protection in Bulgaria

IMF, Working Paper 20/147

34 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020

See all articles by Jean-Jacques Hallaert

Jean-Jacques Hallaert

International Monetary Fund (IMF); Groupe d'Economie Mondiale (GEM)

Date Written: July 31, 2020


Absolute poverty has dropped markedly in Bulgaria but income inequality has increased substantially in the aftermath of the GFC. This increase is due to a rise in market income inequality that was compounded by a reduction in fiscal redistribution. The redistributive role of direct taxation has declined with the introduction of a flat tax and social spending is relatively low and decreasing (as a share of GDP), is concentrated on a few social risks, and experienced a decline in its redistributive efficiency. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to deepen income inequality, increasing the room for redistributive policies.

Keywords: Inequality, Poverty, Social Protection, Bulgaria, European Union

JEL Classification: D63, H23, H53, I32, I38, O15

Suggested Citation

Hallaert, Jean-Jacques and Hallaert, Jean-Jacques, Inequality, Poverty, and Social Protection in Bulgaria (July 31, 2020). IMF, Working Paper 20/147, Available at SSRN: or

Jean-Jacques Hallaert (Contact Author)

Groupe d'Economie Mondiale (GEM) ( email )

28, rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, 75007


International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics