Inequality and taxation - Tax data-based insights into the redistributive effects of the Swiss tax system

Hümbelin, Oliver; Farys, Rudolf; Richard, Tina (2021). Inequality and taxation - Tax data-based insights into the redistributive effects of the Swiss tax system In: Steuern und Ungleichheit. Schweizerisches Jahrbuch für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte: Vol. 36 (pp. 191-216). Chronos

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In many countries, inequality between the rich and the poor has increased in recent decades. Some authors blame this on a retreat of the state, which is making less and less redistribu-tion through progressive taxes and social benefits. In the international context, Switzerland is regarded as a country with low economic inequality and little redistribution. In this paper, we present results with respect to the redistributive effect of the Swiss Tax system based on a novel database. It links tax and benefit data as well as the population register and was developed within the SNSF project "Inequality. Poverty Risks and Welfare State". On this ba-sis, the redistributive effects of taxes and social benefits can be quantified and analyzed holistically. Progressive taxation reduces income inequality, while deductions mediate the effect of taxes. We find inequality-reducing effects for social deductions and inequality-increasing effects for deductions relating to real estate, insurance and savings capital. De-ductions are therefore essentials instruments of the welfare state that should get more at-tention from an inequality perspective in academic discourses and political debates alike.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


School of Social Work > Social Security focus area
School of Social Work > Institute for Social Security and Social Policy


Hümbelin, Oliver0000-0002-8983-9958;
Farys, Rudolf and
Richard, Tina


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance




Schweizerisches Jahrbuch für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte




[UNSPECIFIED] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds


[UNSPECIFIED] Ungleichheit, Armutsrisiken und Wohlfahrtsstaat.




Oliver Hümbelin

Date Deposited:

22 Dec 2021 14:11

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2022 21:46

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ungleichheit, Steuern, «Hidden Welfare State», Steuerliche Abzüge, Wohlfahrtstaat, Einkommensverteilung




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