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Journal Article

Improving poverty reduction in Europe: what works best where?

Authors

Publication date

Feb 2019

Summary

This article examines how income poverty is affected by changes to the scale of tax-benefit policies and which are the most cost-effective policies in reducing poverty or limiting its increase in seven diverse EU countries. We do that by measuring the implications of increasing/reducing the scale of each policy instrument, using microsimulation methods while holding constant the policy design and national context. We consider commonly applied policy instruments with a direct effect on household income: child benefits, social assistance, income tax lower thresholds and a benchmark case of rescaling the whole tax-benefit system. We find that the assessment of the most cost-effective instrument may depend on the measure of poverty used and the direction and scale of the change. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the options that reduce poverty most cost-effectively in most countries are increasing child benefits and social assistance, while reducing the former is a particularly poverty-increasing way of making budgetary cuts.

Published in

Journal of European Social Policy

Volume and page numbers

29 , 29 -43

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928718792130

Subjects

Households, Poverty, Public Policy, Welfare Benefits, Wages And Earnings, Microsimulation, and Taxation

Notes

Open Access; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


Related publications

  1. Improving poverty reduction in Europe: what works best where?

    Chrysa Leventi, Holly Sutherland, and Iva Valentinova Tasseva

    1. Households
    2. Poverty
    3. Public Policy
    4. Welfare Benefits
    5. Wages And Earnings
    6. Microsimulation
    7. Taxation
  2. Improving poverty reduction in Europe: what works (best) where?

    Chrysa Leventi, Holly Sutherland, and Iva Valentinova Tasseva

    1. Households
    2. Poverty
    3. Public Policy
    4. Welfare Benefits
    5. Wages And Earnings
    6. Microsimulation
    7. Taxation

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