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Income Inequality and Redistributive Government Spending

  • International Monetary Fund
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    The paper examines empirically the question of whether more unequal societies spend more on income redistribution than their more egalitarian counterparts. Theoretical arguments on this issue are inconclusive. The political economy literature suggests that redistributive spending is higher in unequal societies due to median voter preferences. Alternatively, it can be argued that unequal societies may spend less on redistribution because of capital market imperfections. Based on different data sources, the cross-country evidence reported in this paper suggests that more unequal societies do spend less on redistribution.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/14.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/14
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    6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    7. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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    21. Lee, Woojin & Roemer, John E, 1998. " Income Distribution, Redistributive Politics, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 217-40, September.
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    24. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
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