On the middle 70%. The impact of fiscal policy on the emerging middle class in Latin America using Commitment to Equity

Produced by: 
Tulane University
Available from: 
August 2017
Paper author(s): 
Christian Daude
Nora Lustig
Angel Melguizo
Jose Ramon Perea
Topic: 
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness
Fiscal Policy - Public and Welfare Economics
Year: 
2017

This paper analyzes the effects of indirect and direct taxes, as well as monetary and in-kind transfers on the income distribution in nine Latin American countries applying the CEQ methodology and using household and expenditure microdata around 2010. In particular, we focus on the effect of fiscal policies on two groups of the emerging middle class: the vulnerable and the middle class. We find that while the vulnerable tend to be net receivers in fiscal terms, especially when including in-kind transfers, the middle class seems to be mainly a net payer. This might be aggravated by the perception of a relatively low quality of in-kind transfers, notably in education and health-care services. We provide some evidence based on subjective surveys pointing in this direction.

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