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Income distribution determinants and public spending efficiency

  • Afonso, António
  • Schuknecht, Ludger
  • Tanzi, Vito

In this paper we examine the impact of public spending, education, and institutions on income distribution in advanced economies. We also assess the efficiency of public spending in redistributing income by using a DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) nonparametric approach. We find that public policies significantly affect income distribution, notably via social spending, and indirectly via high quality education/human capital and via sound economic institutions. Moreover, for our set of OECD countries, and within a two-step approach, several so-called non-discretionary factors help explaining public social spending inefficiencies. JEL Classification: C14, H40, H50

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0861.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080861
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521662918 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Hongyi Li & Danyang Xie & Heng-fu Zou, 2002. "Dynamics of Income Distribution," GE, Growth, Math methods 0210001, EconWPA.
  3. Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 0242, European Central Bank.
  4. Gupta, Sanjeev & Verhoeven, Marijn, 2001. "The efficiency of government expenditure: experiences from Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 433-467, May.
  5. Ales Bulir & Anne Marie Gulde, 1995. "Inflation and Income Distribution; Further Evidenceon Empirical Links," IMF Working Papers 95/86, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
  7. Amparo Castelló-Climent, 2010. "Inequality and growth in advanced economies: an empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 293-321, September.
  8. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  9. Ruggiero, John, 2004. "Performance evaluation when non-discretionary factors correlate with technical efficiency," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(1), pages 250-257, November.
  10. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2006. "Relative Efficiency of Health Provision: a DEA Approach with Non-discretionary Inputs," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/33, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  11. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, Kristiaan, 1994. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches," SESO Working Papers 1994002, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  12. Afonso, Antonio & St. Aubyn, Miguel, 2006. "Cross-country efficiency of secondary education provision: A semi-parametric analysis with non-discretionary inputs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 476-491, May.
  13. Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2006. "Public sector efficiency: evidence for new EU member states and emerging markets," Working Paper Series 0581, European Central Bank.
  14. Fogel, Robert William, 2000. "The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226256627.
  15. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  16. Isabelle Joumard & Per Mathis Kongsrud & Young-Sook Nam & Robert W.R. Price, 2004. "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending: Experience in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 380, OECD Publishing.
  17. Thomas Harjes, 2007. "Globalization and Income Inequality; A European Perspective," IMF Working Papers 07/169, International Monetary Fund.
  18. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2005. "Non-parametric approaches to education and health efficiency in OECD countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 227-246, November.
  19. António Afonso & Vítor Gaspar, 2007. "Dupuit, Pigou and cost of inefficiency in public services provision," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 485-502, September.
  20. Dyson, R. G. & Allen, R. & Camanho, A. S. & Podinovski, V. V. & Sarrico, C. S. & Shale, E. A., 2001. "Pitfalls and protocols in DEA," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 245-259, July.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521664103 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. A. B. Atkinson & A. Brandolini, 2009. "On data: a case study of the evolution of income inequality across time and across countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 381-404, May.
  23. Fakin, Barbara & de Crombrugghe, Alain, 1997. "Field adjustments in transition economies : social transfers and the efficiency of public spending - a comparison with OECD countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1803, The World Bank.
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