The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
David Locke Newhouse, Irene Yackovlev, and Robert Gillingham
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper uses household survey data to estimate the incidence of tax and spending programs in Honduras. Any such exercise is fraught with difficulty, so our simplifying assumptions are carefully explained. Rather than look at tax and spending completely independently, we evaluate net incidence of major programs-such as health care and pensions-to get a more holistic evaluation of redistribution. Our results show that fiscal policy is, on balance, progressive, but that there is room for significant improvement. In particular, energy subsidies, university education and public pension programs provide disproportionate benefits to higher-income households.