Inequality and Fiscal Policy Effectiveness

38 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2015

See all articles by Ju Hyun Pyun

Ju Hyun Pyun

Korea University Business School (KUBS)

Dong Eun Rhee

Myongji University

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

Suggested Citation

Pyun, Ju Hyun and Rhee, Dong Eun, Inequality and Fiscal Policy Effectiveness (December 30, 2014). KIEP Research Paper No. Working Paper 14-02, Available at SSRN: or

Ju Hyun Pyun (Contact Author)

Korea University Business School (KUBS) ( email )

Anam-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu
Seoul, 136701


Dong Eun Rhee

Myongji University ( email )

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