Articles by Patrick Bond

Do government spending and taxation really reduce inequality, or do we need more thorough measurements? A response to the World Bank researchers

Patrick Bond, University of the Witwatersrand
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World Bank staff and consultants claim that South Africa’s progressive taxation and pro-poor social spending reduce the Gini inequality coefficient from 0.77 to 0.59. But their data and methodology are deficient: their research ignores large areas of government spending and taxation that may significantly increase inequality. Thus their conclusion that fiscal policy is redistributive is overhasty and unfounded – whilst it is prone to be used, or misused, to promote a budget-cutting political agenda.