Tools for budget impact analysis: taxes and benefits

Himmelweit, Susan (2002). Tools for budget impact analysis: taxes and benefits. In: Judd, K ed. Gender Budget Initiatives: strategies, Concepts and experiences. New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), pp. 62–69.



This paper examines tools for a gender impact analysis of
taxes and benefits. Since a full impact assessment requires
examining not only a policy’s direct distributional effects
on gender inequalities, but also its higher-order impacts
on men’s and women’s behaviour, it must consider which
inequalities and behaviours are relevant to the policies
being assessed. For tax and benefit policy, the most
immediate effects are on incomes, both at the individual
and at the household level. However, there are equally
important impacts on bargaining power and the
distribution of resources within households, labor
market behaviour and the long-term futures of men and
women. The paper shows how tax and benefit policy can
be examined for its effect on gender inequalities at each
of these levels and gives examples of policies with
significant impacts. It concludes with a discussion of
individual vs. joint taxation and welfare spending.

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