centre for microdata methods and practice

ESRC centre

cemmap is an ESRC research centre

ESRC

Keep in touch

Subscribe to cemmap news

The case for taking a life-cycle perspective: inequality, redistribution, and tax and benefit reforms

Authors: Barra Roantree and Jonathan Shaw
Date: 12 March 2014
Type: Report, R92
DOI: 10.1920/re.ifs.2014.0092

Abstract

Most analysis of the impact of taxes and benefits on households is cross-sectional, with individuals classified as rich or poor, and gains and losses calculated, using a single snapshot of data. In this report, we argue the case for taking a longer-run perspective. In particular, we show that income and circumstances over longer horizons (such as several years) are likely to form a better basis for measuring living standards. We then demonstrate how common measures of inequality and redistribution, and distributional analyses of tax and benefit reforms, are affected by taking a longer-run perspective. Results from the two perspectives may look quite different from each other and, as a result, we could end up with contrasting impressions of the extent to which the tax and benefit system redistributes from rich to poor.

Download full version

Publications feeds

Subscribe to cemmap working papers via RSS

Search cemmap

Search by title, topic or name.

Contact cemmap

Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice

How to find us

Tel: +44 (0)20 7291 4800

E-mail us