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Fiscal Consolidation and Income Inequality

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Agnello & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2011. "Fiscal Consolidation and Income Inequality," NIPE Working Papers 34/2011, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:34/2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Agnello, Luca & Mallick, Sushanta K. & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2012. "Financial reforms and income inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 583-587.
    2. Łukasz Rawdanowicz & Eckhard Wurzel & Ane Kathrine Christensen, 2013. "The Equity Implications of Fiscal Consolidation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1013, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal consolidation; income inequality; Kuznets curve;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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