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Fiscal Consolidation and Income Inequality

In this paper, we assess the impact of fiscal consolidation on income inequality. Using a panel of 18 industrialized countries from 1970 to 2010, we find that income inequality significantly rises both during periods of fiscal consolidation and in the aftermath of such adjustments. In addition, fiscal authority that is driven by spending cuts seems to be more detrimental for income distribution than in the case of tax hikes. Considering the linkages between banking crises and fiscal consolidation, we show that the impact on the income gap is amplified when fiscal adjustments take place after the resolution of such financial turmoils. Our results also provide support for the Kuznets relationship and corroborate the idea that trade can lead to a more unequal distribution of income.

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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 34/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:34/2011
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Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal

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  1. António Afonso & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR Analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/09, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
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  29. repec:hrv:faseco:3353756 is not listed on IDEAS
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