April 4, 2023
Written by WID.world

Preliminary Estimates of Global Posttax Income Distributions

This technical note combines data from household surveys, government budgets, tax simulators, national accounts, and detailed fiscal incidence studies to construct a new database on the distributional incidence of taxes and transfers in 174 countries in 2018. Our estimates are consistent with net national income and allocate the entirety of tax revenue and government expenditure to individuals. Taxes and transfers reduce inequality in nearly all countries in the world, but with large variations, ranging from less than 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa to over 45% in Western Europe and the United States. Although the resulting series provide a good first-order approximation of differences in redistribution across countries, they should be considered as preliminary and will be updated in future work.



  • Matthew Fisher-Post, Paris School of Economics, matthew.fisher-post@psemail.eu
  • Amory Gethin, Paris School of Economics, amory.gethin@psemail.eu


  • press@wid.world.com