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Journal Article

Europe through the crisis: discretionary policy changes and automatic stabilisers


Publication date

20 Jan 2020


Tax‐benefit policies affect changes in household incomes through two main channels: discretionary policy changes and automatic stabilizers. We study their role in the EU countries in 2007–14 using an extended decomposition approach. Our results show that the two policy actions often reduced rather than increased inequality of net incomes, and so helped offset the inequality‐increasing impact of growing disparities in gross market incomes. While inequality reductions were achieved mainly through benefits using both routes, policy changes to and the automatic stabilization response of taxes and contributions raised inequality in some countries and lowered it in others.

Published in

Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics





Public Policy, Welfare Benefits, Income Dynamics, and Taxation


Online Early; Open Access; This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Related publications

  1. Europe through the crisis: discretionary policy changes and automatic stabilisers

    Alari Paulus and Iva Valentinova Tasseva

    1. Public Policy
    2. Welfare Benefits
    3. Income Dynamics
    4. Taxation


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