Is the Moroccan Fiscal System Progressive ? A Shapley Decomposition

Public policies, particularly those related to tax policy and subsidies, should help reduce poverty and inequality. However, the combination of the components of these two systems, as implemented, leads sometimes to an increase in poverty and/or inequality without this being necessarily visible. In this paper, based on data from the 2019 wave of the ONDH Household Panel Survey from Morocco, we first highlight the ifluence of taxes and subsidies on household incomes. We then derive the income variations relating to the tax burden and gains from subsidies for the different population groups. We then characterize taxes and subsidies in terms of their progressiveness and regressiveness. Finally, using a Shapley decomposition, we determine the contribution of each tax and subsidy to poverty and inequality measures. This analysis is done separately for rural and urban areas, useful to formulate recommendations on this basis. Our results show that the tax and subsidy system, taken all together, is redistributive. We can also conclude unambiguously that this system reduces poverty and inequality. However, the value-added tax (VAT) is regressive in its current form, unlike income tax, which is progressive. Finally, subsidies for primary and secondary education are highly progressive, while those for higher education are regressive,benefiting the wealthiest quintiles.

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