Universiteit Leiden

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Incomes at the bottom and the top.

Monday 3 June 2019
Diplomacy and Global Affairs Research Seminar Series 2019
Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague


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About the lecture

Most welfare states design their tax/benefit system to combat income inequality and income poverty. Some countries are more effective in poverty alleviation than others. What can explain these variations in outcomes and effectiveness? And has the redistributive power of different social programs changed over time and across countries?

The presentation explores (descriptive) the effectiveness of T/B-systems in alleviating poverty and reducing income inequality. We focus on 49 LIS-countries for the period 1967-2016. We compare income inequality (Gini’s) and relative income poverty rates at the levels of market incomes and disposable incomes, that is before and after social transfers and income taxes, in order to analyze the effect of tax and transfer policies in reducing income poverty, i.e. to determine the target efficiency of social transfers.

We use micro-data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) to examine household market income poverty and disposable income poverty, the antipoverty effect of social transfers and income taxes, and the underlying social programs that drive the changes. The Leiden LIS Budget Incidence Fiscal Redistribution Dataset on Relative Income Poverty (LLBIFR Dataset on Relative Income Poverty 2019) allows researchers and public policy analysts to compare antipoverty effects across developed countries and middle income countries over the last five decades. Research may employ these data in addressing several important issues. Changes (in the generosity) of welfare states can be linked to changes in the antipoverty effects. Best-practices among countries can be identified and analyzed in detail. The LLBIFR on Relative Income Poverty 2019 with its detailed data on income taxes and a large number of individual social benefits offers a rich source of information which may be used by scholars and policy analysts to study the effects of different social programs on economic well-being.

The readings and databases for this DGA seminar

About the speaker

Koen Caminada (1966) is professor of Empirical Analysis of Tax and Social Policy at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is Academic Director of the Leiden Institute of Tax Law and Economics and Vice-Dean (Education) at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. His research interests include Empirical Analysis of Tax Law and Social Policy, Social Security, Fiscal and Tax Policy, Income Distribution and Poverty (EU and OECD). Caminada holds a PhD from Leiden University (1997), and studied Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam (1986-1992) and the Catholic University Leuven, Belgium (1991-1992). Caminada is a research fellow at Leiden Law School, and Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement. He was visiting  professor at the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin – Madison (USA), Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen (China), School of Public Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing (China), an the Institute of Finance and Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai (China). Caminada is member of the board of Governors of the Foundation of International Studies on Social Security, and Academic Partner of CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis. Caminada promotes Open Access – all his publications (166) are available via his personal website.

About the seminars

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.


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