Clara Martínez-Toledano Toledano
My main fields are Household and Public Finance, with special focus on taxation and inequality. I am further interested in economic history and policy evaluation.
You can download my CV here.
This paper combines different sources (tax records, national accounts, wealth surveys) and a new asset-specific accumulation decomposition in order to analyze the impact of the Spanish housing bubble on wealth inequality. Wealth concentration has been quite stable since the eighties, with shares ranging between 5-10% and 50-60% for the bottom 50% and top 10% of the distribution, respectively. Housing reduced the levels of wealth inequality in the long-run. However, the bulk in secondary residence and offshore assets at the top of the distribution, together with changes in portfolio structure and hence in savings rates across assets and wealth groups, have contributed to neutralizing the impact of the housing bubble and keeping the same high levels of wealth concentration of the 1980s in the late 2000s.
A summary of this paper has been included in Chapter 4.6 of the First World Inequality Report (2018) and has been featured in El País, El Mundo, El Confidencial, Público, El Diario, Blog NeG (here and here), 20minutos and La Vanguardia, among others.
An earlier version of this paper received the Giorgio Rota Best Paper Price Award in 2017.
This paper reconstructs Spain’s national wealth from 1900 to 2014. We compare the market-value and book-value definitions, and present a new asset-specific decomposition of long-run movements in the value of wealth into a volume effect (through saving) and a price effect (capital gains or losses). We also investigate the role played by offshore assets using administrative records. Our results show that the national wealth-to income ratio followed a J-shaped evolution over the last century, contrary to the U-shaped trend observed in other rich economies. Spain’s wealth accumulation is also different in that both agricultural and urban land represented a larger share of national wealth in the early twentieth and twenty-first century, respectively. These findings are largely explained by capital gains coming from the housing sector, which account for 45% of the real growth of national wealth over the period 1950-2010. When offshore assets are considered, Spain international indebtedness is reduced by approximately one quarter since the 2000s. Overall this study highlights the importance of capital gains, housing and offshore assets as key elements in the long-term accumulation of wealth.
A generalized Pareto curve is defined as the curve of inverted Pareto coefficients b(p), where b(p) is the ratio between average income or wealth above rank p and the p-th quantile. We present this concept and show how it can be used to better estimate distributions, especially from tax tabulations. By providing a simple decomposition of top shares, we discuss how studying inverted Pareto coefficients can improve the understanding of inequality dynamics. We also show how it helps to better analyze wealth and income concentrations along the distribution, using data for France, Spain, the United States and China.
Haugh, D. and C. Martinez-Toledano (2017), "The distribution of taxable income and fiscal benefits in Spain: New evidence from personal income tax returns (2002-2011)", OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 1427, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5f8594f0-en
The personal tax system has a large influence on incentives to work, save and invest and hence growth. At the same time it is a key policy lever for income redistribution. This paper analyses how income distribution patterns changed in Spain before and after the crisis using the personal income tax samples constructed by the Spanish Institute of Fiscal Studies for the period 2002 to 2011. We find that the top and bottom of the income distribution gained the most from the boom period, and the bottom suffered proportionally more in the subsequent bust. Although Spain's average personal tax rates were above the OECD average, personal tax revenue as a share was below the OECD average. One reason for this is substantial fiscal benefits that significantly reduce total tax received by the government. We examine the distribution of the tax burden, and especially how income deciles benefit from the different fiscal benefits, namely tax exemptions, reductions and tax credits. This reveals that Spain's personal income tax system is progressive, especially for labour income, but far less so for capital income. Some fiscal benefits, notably the tax credit on maternity, are highly progressive. Other fiscal benefits, mainly exemptions and reductions, are regressive. These include the exemptions on renting and on the interest from investing in dwellings and the reduction for contributions to personal pension plans.