Inequality and Fiscal Policy Effectiveness
38 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2015
Date Written: December 30, 2014
This paper examines the role of income inequality in determining fiscal policy effectiveness by using panel data of 42 advanced and developing countries during Q1 2000-Q3 2007. Our panel VAR analysis shows that the effect of fiscal policy on output is smaller in economies with high income inequality: the 1-year fiscal multiplier for a country with relatively equal income distribution is estimated to be significant at 0.52 or greater significantly, while that for a country with relatively unequal income distribution is insignificant from zero. The responses of consumption to an expansionary fiscal policy shock show that consumption is more crowded-out for relatively more unequal economies, thus affirming that the low-income households in the economies with high inequality tend to have strong incentives to save additional income from fiscal policy for precautionary reasons.
Keywords: Income Inequality, Fiscal Multiplier, Panel VAR, Dynamic PanelEstimation, Precautionary Savings
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