Distribution and Redistribution

John Hills

in Inequality and the State

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276646
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601644 | DOI:
 Distribution and Redistribution

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Suggests that discussion of either tax or spending in isolation can easily be misleading. Discusses the combined impact of tax and public spending on income distribution in the UK, analysing differences between groups defined in different ways. Presents the distribution by income group of both social security benefits and other government services in kind – what is sometimes known as the ‘social wage’, and compares the distribution of these benefits from social spending with that of the taxes that pay for them, to see which income groups gain or lose from the combination. Examines what changes if a longer time horizon is used, and the focus is on redistribution over the life cycle or on intergenerational distribution. Finally, discusses public attitudes in the UK towards the redistributive role of government, and how these have changed over the last 20 years.

Keywords: income distribution; intergenerational distribution; life cycle distribution; public attitudes; redistribution; social spending; tax and spending

Chapter.  9915 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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