This paper presents a novel technique to measure and compare the redistributive capacity of observed tax (or transfer) policies. The technique is based on income distribution simulations and controls for differences in pre-tax income distributions. It assumes that the only information on the pre-tax distribution available in each country-year is the Gini coefficient and the mean (GDP per capita). We illustrate the technique with an application to the personal income tax, using a dataset of 108 countries over the 2007-2018 period.
contribution in that respect is Dardanoni and Lambert (2002) , which proposes to “transplant” tax regimes into a common base with an identical pre-tax distribution, where they can be safely compared. A critical point, however, is that this procedure relies on consistent and comparable household-level microdata of income – a challenge in many emerging economies and low-income countries.
With a focus on applicability in environments with limited data availability, this paper introduces a simplified implementation of the transplant-and-comparemethod. It is assumed that the