Assessing welfare impacts of some debt-consolidation episodes in the European Union
This paper aims at characterizing debt consolidation processes put forward by some European countries in order to assess welfare and, in particular, the inequality effects involved. For that we built a general equilibrium heterogeneous-agent model capable of exploring the relationship between fiscal policy variables and the endogenous crosssection distribution of income and wealth. Results show that, with the exception of the Belgian case, all consolidation strategies entail positive welfare gains. The transition costs affect all episodes and are determinant in sorting among the welfareenhancing strategies. Our results confirm the superiority of the adjustments based on unproductive expenditures over those based on tax increases or social transfer reductions. Finally, all strategies involve lower welfare inequality costs.
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