Journal article

Recent Trends in Income Redistribution in Australia: Can Changes in the Tax-Benefit System Account for the Decline in Redistribution?


The Economic Record | Wiley | Published : 2015


We examine trends in the redistributive impact of the tax-benefit system in Australia between 1994 and 2009 using a framework that allows us to separate the contributions of taxes, benefits, and taxes and benefits combined. Furthermore, we identify the effect of tax-benefit policy reforms on income redistribution over the period. We find that after reaching a peak value in the late 1990s, the redistributive effect of taxes and benefits declined sharply. Although reforms to the tax-benefit system contributed to the decline in redistribution, their contribution was limited compared to the role played by the changes in market income distribution.


Awarded by Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion

Awarded by Xunta de Galicia

Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the support of a Faculty Research Grant from the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne. Francisco Azpitarte would also like to acknowledge the financial support from the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (grant ECO2013-46516-C4-2-R and ECO2010-21668-C03-03) and the Xunta de Galicia (10SEC300023PR). We are grateful to Guyonne Kalb for helpful comments.