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Inequality and Redistribution in the Netherlands

Arjan Bruil (cbs), Céline van Essen (), Wouter Leenders, Arjan Lejour, Jan Möhlmann () and Simon Rabaté ()
Additional contact information
Céline van Essen: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
Jan Möhlmann: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
Simon Rabaté: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

No 436, CPB Discussion Paper from CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

Abstract: How high is income inequality in the Netherlands? How progressive are taxes and how much income does government spending redistribute? This study presents the most exhaustive responses for the Netherlands to these questions to date. We combine detailed administrative records on the universe of the Dutch population with national accounts aggregates to provide a thorough description of income inequality before and after taxation and government spending. Overall, taxes and government spending reduce the top 10%'s income share from 31% to 26%. We decompose this difference between pre- and post- tax income and show two main results. First, the tax system is regressive due to high consumption taxes, flat social contributions and a low tax on capital income. Second, the entire reduction in inequality comes from government spending that is targeted at the bottom of the distribution. We finally provide a wide set of alternative scenarios to investigate the sensitivity of our results to different distributional assumptions. Our main conclusions are robust to this sensitivity analysis.

JEL-codes: D3 H2 H3 H5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-eur, nep-pbe and nep-pub
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpb:discus:436

DOI: 10.34932/crvm-bq32

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