Chapter

Poverty, inequality and redistribution

Sefton Tom, Hills John and Sutherland Holly

in Towards a more equal society?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422026
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304036 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.003.0003
Poverty, inequality and redistribution

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This chapter sets the scene for the rest of the book by examining the evidence on income poverty and income inequality. The assessment includes the results of micro-simulation, which allows one to separate the effects of tax-benefit policy from the effects of demographic and labour-market changes, addressing the tricky question of the counterfactual: what would have happened in the absence of policy changes? The chapter also looks at the distributional impact of public expenditure on benefits in kind such as health and education. Inequality measures generally exclude benefits in kind, but as public spending tends to be higher on poorer households, increases in spending can make a significant difference to the state's overall redistributive impact.

Keywords: income poverty; income inequality; micro-simulation; tax-benefit policy; labour market; public expenditure

Chapter.  9696 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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