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Growth, income distribution, and fiscal policy volatility

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  • Woo, Jaejoon

Abstract

The relationship between income distribution and economic growth has long been an important economic research subject. Despite substantial evidence on the negative impact on long-term growth of inequality in the literature, however, there is not much consensus on the specific channels through which inequality affects growth. The empirical validity of two most prominent political economy channels - redistributive fiscal spending and taxes, and sociopolitical instability - has recently been challenged. We advance a new political economy channel for the negative link between inequality and growth, a fiscal policy volatility channel, and present strong supporting econometric evidence in a large sample of countries over the period of 1960-2000. Our finding also sheds light on another commonly observed negative relation between macroeconomic volatility and growth. We carefully address the robustness of the results in terms of data, estimation methods, outlier problem, and endogeneity problem that often plague the standard OLS (ordinary least squares) regression.

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  • Woo, Jaejoon, 2011. "Growth, income distribution, and fiscal policy volatility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 289-313, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:96:y:2011:i:2:p:289-313
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    2. Huang, Ho-Chuan (River) & Fang, WenShwo & Miller, Stephen M. & Yeh, Chih-Chuan, 2015. "The effect of growth volatility on income inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 212-222.
    3. Urbain Thierry YOGO, 2015. "Terrorism and Fiscal Policy Volatility in Developing Countries: Evidence from cross-country and Panel Data," Working Papers 201514, CERDI.
    4. Escobari Diego & Mollick André Varella, 2013. "Output growth and unexpected government expenditures," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-33, September.
    5. Jaejoon Woo & Elva Bova & Tidiane Kinda & Y. Sophia Zhang, 2017. "Distributional Consequences of Fiscal Adjustments: What Do the Data Say?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(2), pages 273-307, June.
    6. Neves, Pedro Cunha & Afonso, Óscar & Silva, Sandra Tavares, 2016. "A Meta-Analytic Reassessment of the Effects of Inequality on Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 386-400.
    7. Karen Davtyan, 2016. "Interrelation among Economic Growth, Income Inequality, and Fiscal Performance: Evidence from Anglo-Saxon Countries," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 217(2), pages 37-66, June.
    8. Atangana Ondoa Henri, 2019. "Heavily indebted poor countries initiative (HIPC), debt relief, economic stability and economic growth in Africa," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 89-121, May.
    9. Jaejoon Woo, 2020. "Inequality, redistribution, and growth: new evidence on the trade-off between equality and efficiency," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(6), pages 2667-2707, June.
    10. Tony Addison & Miguel Niño†Zarazúa & Jukka Pirttilä, 2018. "Fiscal Policy, State Building and Economic Development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 161-172, March.
    11. David Castells-Quintana & Vicente Royuela, 2017. "Tracking positive and negative effects of inequality on long-run growth," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 1349-1378, December.
    12. Marina Malkina, 2014. "Study of the relationship between the development level and degree of income inequality in the Russian regions," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(2), pages 238-248.
    13. Tony Addison & Miguel Niño†Zarazúa & Jukka Pirttilä, 2018. "Fiscal Policy, State Building and Economic Development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 161-172, March.
    14. Amarante, Veronica, 2009. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth in Latin America," Economics PhD Theses 0109, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
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