Economics of transition vol:13 issue:4 pages:705-729
The interplay of a differentiated indirect tax structure and the variation in expenditure patterns across households leads to a possibly unequal distribution of indirect tax liabilities across the population. This paper uses the ninth round of the RLMS survey to assess the distributional consequences of the two major components of the Russian indirect tax system: VAT and excise taxes. According to the Kakwani index, the global indirect system can be considered to be progressive overall. Decomposition into constituent terms shows that this is due not only to a progressive VAT structure, but also to progressive excise taxes. This result is partly explained by the progressivity of the excise tax on car fuel, but is also sensitive to peculiarities in the data about alcohol consumption.