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Towards a more equal society?Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997$
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John Hills, Tom Sefton, and Kitty Stewart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422026

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.001.0001

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date: 17 August 2017

Poverty, inequality and redistribution

Poverty, inequality and redistribution

Chapter:
(p.21) TWO Poverty, inequality and redistribution
Source:
Towards a more equal society?
Author(s):

Sefton Tom

Hills John

Sutherland Holly

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.003.0003

This chapter sets the scene for the rest of the book by examining the evidence on income poverty and income inequality. The assessment includes the results of micro-simulation, which allows one to separate the effects of tax-benefit policy from the effects of demographic and labour-market changes, addressing the tricky question of the counterfactual: what would have happened in the absence of policy changes? The chapter also looks at the distributional impact of public expenditure on benefits in kind such as health and education. Inequality measures generally exclude benefits in kind, but as public spending tends to be higher on poorer households, increases in spending can make a significant difference to the state's overall redistributive impact.

Keywords:   income poverty, income inequality, micro-simulation, tax-benefit policy, labour market, public expenditure

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