The distributional impact of VAT reduction for food in Hungary: Results from a Hungarian microsimulation model

C. O'Donoghue, J. Li, I. Cserháti, P. Elek, T. Keresztély, T. Takács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper we illustrate how the incorporation of behavioural responses and dynamic effects alters the conclusions of static household microsimulation models on the distributional impacts of economic policies. Based on Hungary's Household Budget and Living Conditions Survey, we model household consumption using the demand system approach of Creedy, 1998. This method makes it possible to obtain reasonable price elasticity estimates of consumption from cross-sectional data by combining them with Frisch-parameter values obtained from cross-country studies. With this consumption module, we simulate the distributional impacts of a hypothetical food VAT rate change in Hungary and show how the static and behavioural impact estimates differ according to income decile. We examine the sensitivity of our results to the choice of the country-level Frisch-parameter and to a realistic allowance for household-level variation in the Frisch-parameter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-38
Number of pages37
JournalInternational Journal of Microsimulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

JEL classifications

  • h25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
  • h23 - "Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies"


  • Frisch-Parameter
  • Microsimulation
  • Policy Analysis
  • Value Added Tax

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