【主题】Rising Inequality: What is the Role of Social Transfers? A Cross-Country Comparison
In many countries the gap between rich and poor has widened over the past decades. An important question is what are the causes of this development. In this presentation we will analyze whether and to what extent social transfers and income taxes have contributed to the trend of rising income inequality. We have developed a user friendly dataset, based on micro data from Luxembourg Income Study (recently, also data for China have become available). We find that tax benefit systems around 2014 are more effective at reducing inequality than in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In most countries, old age pensions attribute most to income redistribution. We conclude that changes in social programs have not been a driver of greater inequality.
Kees Goudswaard is Professor of Economics and Extraordinary Professor of Social Security at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is head of the Economics Department at Leiden University. Goudswaard is also a member of the Supervisory Board of the Dutch Central Bank. Also, he is chairman of the committee of the Social and Economic Council that advises the government on the future of the pension system.