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The Optimal Composition of Government Expenditure

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  • John Creedy
  • Solmaz Moslehi

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal ratio of transfer payments to expenditure on public goods, for a given income tax rate. The transfer payment is then determined by the government’s budget constraint. The optimal ratio of transfers to public good expenditure per person is expressed as a function of the ratio of the median to the mean wage, and of the tax rate. Reductions in the skewness of the wage rate distribution are associated with reductions in transfer payments relative to public goods expenditure, at a decreasing rate. Furthermore, increases in the tax rate, from relatively low levels, are associated with increases in the relative importance of transfer payments. But beyond a certain level, further tax rate increases are associated with a lower ratio of transfers to public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Solmaz Moslehi, 2007. "The Optimal Composition of Government Expenditure," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1008, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Creedy, John & Moslehi, Solmaz, 2009. "Modelling the composition of government expenditure in democracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 42-55, March.
    6. John Creedy, 1996. "Fiscal Policy and Social Welfare," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 797.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Creedy & Shuyun May Li & Solmaz Moslehi, 2008. "The Composition of Government Expenditure in an Overlapping Generations Model," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1043, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Agustín Molina Morales & Ignacio Amate Fortes & Almudena Guarnido, 2013. "Institutions and Public Expenditure on Education in OECD Countries," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 204(1), pages 67-84, March.

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