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CEQ Working Paper No 18 (English): Social Public Spending, Taxes, Redistribution Of Income, And Poverty In Costa Rica


Social Public Spending, Taxes, Redistribution Of Income, And Poverty In Costa Rica
Working Paper No. 18

A working document by:
Pablo Sauma
Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Económicas, IICE
Juan Diego Trejos
University of Costa Rica

Abstract
Costa Rica allocates 20% of its GDP to finance a broad range of social programs. Social spending is funded primarily through indirect taxes, as well as through specific social security contributions. Using market income as a reference, only direct taxes turn out to be clearly progressive, as opposed to indirect taxes and specific contributions to the social security system, which tend to be rather neutral in relative terms. Nonetheless, most social programs are progressive; in fact, some of them are very progressive ‘€“especially cash transfers, which are highly focalized‘€” resulting in reductions in poverty and, principally, inequality. The study highlights the enormous importance of increasing the magnitude and progressiveness of taxes to render public social spending sustainable, as well as to strengthen certain targeted programs with a high impact on the poorest.

Access the working document here:
Updated March 2014
CEQ Working Paper No 18: Social Public Spending, Taxes, Redistribution Of Income, And Poverty In Costa Rica

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Read Across the Americas Summer Program at the Algiers Regional Branch

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Join us every Wednesday at 10:30 am for a bilingual storytime for kids ages 2 – 10. The program is part of an initiative between Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the New Orleans Public Library called the Pebbles Center. This summer we will explore the environment and diverse geography of Latin America. Bring your favorite jungle animal and be prepared to learn some Spanish as we embark on an adventure through the Americas. This program provides a reading list of recommended titles for all ages to explore Latin America on your own this summer. If you read all books, you will be eligible for a special award offered during Hispanic Heritage month at the annual Celebración Latina held at the Audubon Zoo.

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