Bank of Lithuania
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No 37

The Earnings Distribution in Lithuania: The Role of the MinimumWage

  • Abstract

    In this paper, we investigate how the minimum wage has shaped the earnings distribution in Lithuania between 2010 and 2019. We rely on a distribution regression framework and detailed Social Security records to characterize the earnings distribution along with the minimum wage incidence at a monthly frequency. According to our preferred estimates, our results imply that minimum wage increases can explain about 32% (40%) of the decline in total (bottom-tail) earnings inequality and up to 20% of average earnings growth.

    Keywords: Minimum wage, Earnings growth, Inequality

    JEL codes: D31, J31, J38

No 72

Statutory, effective and optimal net tax schedules in Lithuania

  • Abstract

    We estimate effective and optimal net income tax schedules and compare them to estimated statutory rates for the case of Lithuania in the period 2014-2015. Values of effective net tax rates are estimated from the survey of EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, the statutory net tax rates are estimated with the European tax-benefit simulator Euromod, while optimal net taxes are calculated via Saez (2002) methodology. We find that the three net tax schedules are similar for employees in the middle of the income distribution. At the bottom of the income distribution, optimal net tax schedules suggest higher in-work benefits. The net tax schedules diverge substantially for the self-employed. At the top of the income distribution, where the majority of self-employed are concentrated, the self-employed are required to pay 15 cents less net taxes per euro than employees - and they effectively pay 29 cents less.

    JEL Codes: H2, H21.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 71

Changes in income inequality in Lithuania: the role of policy, labour market structure, returns and demographics

  • Abstract

    We model the household disposable income distribution in Lithuania and explore the drivers of the increase in income inequality between 2007 and 2015. We quantify the contributions of four factors to changes in the disposable income distribution: (i) demographics; (ii) labour market structure; (ii) returns and prices; and (iv) tax-benefit system. Results show that the effects of the factors were substantial and reflected heterogeneous developments over two sub-periods: changes in the tax and benefit system successfully accommodated a rapid rise in market income inequality due to the global financial crisis during 2007-2011, but failed to do so during the subsequent years of economic expansion, when rising returns in the labour and capital markets significantly increased disposable income inequality. We also find that declining marriage rates contributed to the increase of income inequality in Lithuania.

    JEL Codes: D31, H23, J21, J31, I38.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 14

Measurement and decomposition of Lithuania’s income inequality

  • Abstract

    Despite Lithuania’s household income inequality being among the highest in the European Union (EU), little empirical work has been carried out to explain such disparities. In this article, we use the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions sample micro data. We confirm that income inequality in Lithuania is high compared to the EU average and find that it is robust to inequality measure or equivalence scale used. We have also decomposed household disposable income inequality by subgroups and factors. We find that the number of employed household members in Lithuania’s households affects income inequality more as compared to the EU. It is related to a larger labour income, and self-employment income in particular, contribution to inequality in Lithuania as opposed to the EU. Moreover, transfers and taxes have a smaller impact on reducing inequality in Lithuania than in the EU.

    JEL Codes: D31.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.