This paper jointly and separately examines the redistributive and poverty effects of tax and public expenditures (education and health) in Cameroon. The tax system is generally progressive but less so than the benefits of public expenditure. While overall public spending is mostly progressive in rural areas, followed by semi-urban and urban areas, the opposite is true for tax incidence. Tax burden weighs more on the urban, followed by rural and semi-urban population. Putting the two sets of policies together, they are found to mainly reflect fiscal policies in that they are more progressive and poverty-reducing when we use relative poverty lines, in rural areas, followed by semi-urban and urban areas, respectively. Though we also realized a poverty- increasing effect of the net tax system using absolute poverty lines, the poverty impact still remains minimal in the rural areas where poverty is high and inequality actually increased between 1996 and 2001.


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pp. 1-23
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