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Income Inequalities in Ireland and Poland: The Role of Taxes and Social Transfers

Joanna Muszynska, Malgorzata Szczepaniak and Ewa Wedrowska
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Joanna Muszynska: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland
Malgorzata Szczepaniak: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland
Ewa Wedrowska: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland

The Economic and Social Review, 2021, vol. 52, issue 4, 375-396

Abstract: Even though Ireland and Poland differ in their GNI levels per capita, economic history and economic systems, their levels of income inequality calculated on disposable income were very similar in 2016. However, there is a lack of current research comparing these countries from the perspective of tax-benefit systems that alleviate inequality. Therefore, this paper seeks to answer the research question of whether thedifferences in welfare state regimes that shape tax-benefit systems in Poland and Ireland are reflected by the role the taxes and social transfers play in tackling inequality. Our study is based on microdata from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey. We apply a factor decomposition to determine what roles various factor components play in determining overall inequality. The results reveal that the redistributive effect was stronger in Ireland, resulting in greater income inequality reduction than in Poland through policies affecting the unemployed, families and taxes.

Keywords: income inequality; source decomposition; Gini coefficient; taxation; social transfers; Poland; Ireland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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