Progressive Taxation and Redistribution

Séminaire avec Pablo Beramendi et Elvire Guillaud, 9 mars 2018, 14h30-16h30
  • ©Photo Joel Saget AFP©Photo Joel Saget AFP


L'axe Politiques socio-fiscales du LIEPP a le plaisir de vous inviter au séminaire:

Progressive Taxation and Redistribution

[langue: anglais]


Vendredi 9 mars 2018
Salle de séminaires du LIEPP
254 bvd Saint-Germain, 75 007 Paris

Merci de vous inscrire


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    Pablo Beramendi

    Professeur de Science Politique, Université Duke 


"Progressive Taxation and Redistribution"  

co-authored with: Matthew Dimick (SUNY Buffalo Law School) Daniel Stegmueller (Duke University)

In this paper we demonstrate empirically, and explain theoretically, that more progressive tax systems are more redistributive. Contrary to current common wisdom, the progressivity of taxes matters at least as much, if not more, than that of benefits. Our results are based on a novel measurement approach, which uses tax-benefit simulation models to measure the “pure” policy effect of taxes on incomes. To explain the relationship between progressivity and redistribution, we formalize two theoretical alternatives. The first predicts that greater inequality will reduce both progressivity and redistribution, and is consistent with our empirical findings. The second predicts that tax progressivity will be lower but redistribution higher under proportional representation than under majoritarian representation. This result is in line with the current consensus, but contradicted by our empirical results.


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    Elvire Guillaud

    Maître de conférence en économie, Université Paris 1 (CES)
    Chercheuse associée à Sciences Po (LIEPP)


"Pattern of direct taxation in affluent democracies"

co-authored with: Michaël Zemmour (Clerse Univ. Lille, LIEPP-Sciences Po)

In comparing tax systems across developed countries, scholars generally stress differences. In this paper, we look for a common pattern of tax systems in advanced democracies, in order to draw the lines of a feasible set of policies. We hypothesize that the tax rate applied to any percentile of household income can be approached by a (common) linear function of the household income rank (percentile number) adjusted by the median tax rate of the country. In other words, countries would all be aligned on the same tax schedule, notwithstanding their average tax rate. We then identify what shapes this common pattern of taxation. We conjecture alternatively that the taxation of households depends on the size of their relative income, or is determined by their position in the income distribution. We test these conjectures using LIS micro-data complemented by imputed data on social security contributions. Effective tax rates are recovered at the household level, including personal income tax, employer and employee social contributions. Our sample is made of 20 OECD countries, over the period 1999 to 2013.

Discutant:  Bruno Palier