IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/por/cetedp/1703.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Brinca

    (Center for Economics and Finance at Universidade of Porto, Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

  • Miguel H. Ferreira

    (Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

  • Francesco Franco

    (Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

  • Hans A. Holter

    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Laurence Malafry

    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Abstract

Following the Great Recession, many European countries implemented fiscal consolidation policies aimed at reducing government debt. Using three independent data sources and three different empirical approaches, we document a strong positive relationship between higher income inequality and stronger recessive impacts of fiscal consolidation programs across time and place. To explain this finding, we develop a life-cycle, overlapping generations economy with uninsurable labor market risk. We calibrate our model to match key characteristics of a number of European economies, including the distribution of wages and wealth, social security, taxes and debt, and study the effects of fiscal consolidation programs. We find that higher income risk induces precautionary savings behavior, which decreases the proportion of credit-constrained agents in the economy. Credit-constrained agents have less elastic labor supply responses to fiscal consolidation achieved through either tax hikes or public spending cuts, and this explains the relationship between income inequality and the impact of fiscal consolidation programs. Our model produces a cross-country correlation between inequality and the fiscal consolidation multipliers, which is quite similar to that in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Brinca & Miguel H. Ferreira & Francesco Franco & Hans A. Holter & Laurence Malafry, 2017. "Fiscal Consolidation Programs and Income Inequality," CEF.UP Working Papers 1703, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:1703
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cefup.fep.up.pt/uploads/WorkingPapers/wp1703.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brinca, Pedro & Holter, Hans A. & Krusell, Per & Malafry, Laurence, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in the 21st century," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 53-69.
    2. Romei, Federica, 2015. "Need for (the Right) Speed: the Timing and Composition of Public Debt Deleveraging," Economics Working Papers MWP2015/11, European University Institute.
    3. Lillard, Lee A & Willis, Robert J, 1978. "Dynamic Aspects of Earning Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 985-1012, September.
    4. Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 161-188.
    5. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, February.
    6. Olivier J. Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2013. "Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 117-120, May.
    7. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2017. "Optimal Tax Progressivity: An Analytical Framework," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1693-1754.
    8. Hans A. Holter & Dirk Krueger & Serhiy Stepanchuk, 2019. "How do tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1317-1356, November.
    9. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
    10. Alesina, Alberto & Favero, Carlo & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2015. "The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 19-42.
    11. Axelle Ferriere & Gaston Navarro, 2013. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Government Spending: It's All About Taxes," Working Papers 13-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    12. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    13. Kurt Mitman & Iourii Manovskii & Marcus Hagedorn, 2017. "The Fiscal Multiplier," 2017 Meeting Papers 1383, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Christopher D. Carroll & Jiri Slacalek & Kiichi Tokuoka, 2014. "The Distribution of Wealth and the MPC: Implications of New European Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 107-111, May.
    15. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    16. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante & Justin Weidner, 2014. "The Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 77-153.
    17. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 843-921, Elsevier.
    18. Guner, Nezih & Lopez-Daneri, Martin & Ventura, Gustavo, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Government revenues: Higher taxes at the top?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 69-85.
    19. Antonio Antunes & Valerio Ercolani, 2020. "Public debt expansions and the dynamics of the household borrowing constraint," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 1-32, July.
    20. Dupaigne, Martial & Fève, Patrick, 2016. "Persistent government spending and fiscal multipliers: The investment-channel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 425-453.
    21. David Cesarini & Erik Lindqvist & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Robert Östling, 2017. "The Effect of Wealth on Individual and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Swedish Lotteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3917-3946, December.
    22. Roland Benabou, 2002. "Tax and Education Policy in a Heterogeneous-Agent Economy: What Levels of Redistribution Maximize Growth and Efficiency?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 481-517, March.
    23. Emily Anderson & Atsushi Inoue & Barbara Rossi, 2016. "Heterogeneous Consumers and Fiscal Policy Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(8), pages 1877-1888, December.
    24. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
    25. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1199-1239, July.
    26. Alberto Alesina & Omar Barbiero & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Matteo Paradisi, 2017. "The Effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 23385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Jaime Guajardo & Daniel Leigh & Andrea Pescatori, 2014. "Expansionary Austerity? International Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 949-968, August.
    28. Henrique S. Basso & Omar Rachedi, 2018. "The young, the old, and the government: demographics and fiscal multipliers," Working Papers 1837, Banco de España.
    29. Pappa, Evi & Sajedi, Rana & Vella, Eugenia, 2015. "Fiscal consolidation with tax evasion and corruption," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 56-75.
    30. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
    31. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante & Justin Weidner, 2014. "The Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(1 (Spring), pages 77-153.
    32. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    33. Alesina, Alberto F & Barbiero, Omar & Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Paradisi, Matteo, 2015. "Austerity in 2009-2013," CEPR Discussion Papers 10347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    34. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
    35. Brinca, P. & Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, P.J. & McGrattan, E., 2016. "Accounting for Business Cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1013-1063, Elsevier.
    36. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    37. Elin Halvorsen & Hans Holter & Kjetil Storesletten & Serdar Ozkan, 2019. "Dissecting Idiosyncratic Income Risk," 2019 Meeting Papers 1337, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    38. Mr. Daniel Leigh & Mr. Andrea Pescatori & Mr. Jaime Guajardo & Mr. Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 2011/128, International Monetary Fund.
    39. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2017. "Reducing government debt in the presence of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-20.
    40. Olivier J Blanchard & Daniel Leigh, 2014. "Learning about Fiscal Multipliers from Growth Forecast Errors," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 62(2), pages 179-212, June.
    41. William B. Peterman & Erick Sager, 2018. "Optimal Public Debt with Life Cycle Motives," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-028, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    42. Yang, Weonho & Fidrmuc, Jan & Ghosh, Sugata, 2015. "Macroeconomic effects of fiscal adjustment: A tale of two approaches," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 31-60.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Deniz Sevinc & Edgar Mata Flores & Simon Collinson, 2020. "Are there inequality spillovers? Evidence through a modified inequality measure and European dynamics of inequality," Working Papers 545, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Brinca, Pedro & Duarte, João B. & Holter, Hans A. & Oliveira, João G., 2019. "Investment-Specific Technological Change, Taxation and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 91960, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fonseca, Miguel, 2020. "Fiscal Consolidations: Welfare Effects of the Adjustment Speed," MPRA Paper 98902, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Mar 2020.
    4. Kopiec, Paweł, 2020. "Employment prospects and the propagation of fiscal stimulus," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    5. Bernardino, Tiago, 2019. "Asset Liquidity and Fiscal Consolidation Programs," MPRA Paper 93903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Freitas, Bruno, 2020. "Labour Share Heterogeneity and Fiscal Consolidation Programs," MPRA Paper 98973, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nóbrega, Valter, 2020. "Optimal Taxation and Investment-Specific Technological Change," MPRA Paper 98917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Pedro Brinca & Miguel Faria-e-Castro & Miguel H. Ferreira & Hans Holter, 2019. "The Nonlinear Effects of Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 2019-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 15 Jan 2021.
    9. De Dominicis, Piero, 2020. "Routinization and Covid-19: a comparison between United States and Portugal," MPRA Paper 101003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Zsurkis, Gabriel & Nicolau, João & Rodrigues, Paulo M. M, 2021. "The expected time to cross a threshold and its determinants: a simple and flexible framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    11. Ferrreira, Ana Melissa, 2019. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Inequality in the U.S," MPRA Paper 93914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Coelho, José, 2020. "Universal basic income and skill-biased technological change," MPRA Paper 99195, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Mar 2020.
    13. Santos, Mariana, 2020. "The impact of labor income tax progressivity on the fiscal multipliers in the context of fiscal consolidation programs," MPRA Paper 98736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Kopiec, Pawel, 2019. "Household Heterogeneity and the Value of Government Spending Multiplier: an Analytical Characterization," MPRA Paper 93499, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brinca, Pedro & Holter, Hans A. & Krusell, Per & Malafry, Laurence, 2016. "Fiscal multipliers in the 21st century," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 53-69.
    2. Grancini, Stefano, 2021. "Risk Aversion and Fiscal Consolidation Programs," MPRA Paper 105500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Freitas, Bruno, 2020. "Labour Share Heterogeneity and Fiscal Consolidation Programs," MPRA Paper 98973, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fonseca, Miguel, 2020. "Fiscal Consolidations: Welfare Effects of the Adjustment Speed," MPRA Paper 98902, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Mar 2020.
    5. Pedro Brinca & Miguel Faria-e-Castro & Miguel H. Ferreira & Hans Holter, 2019. "The Nonlinear Effects of Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 2019-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 15 Jan 2021.
    6. Bernardino, Tiago, 2019. "Asset Liquidity and Fiscal Consolidation Programs," MPRA Paper 93903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Santos, Mariana, 2020. "The impact of labor income tax progressivity on the fiscal multipliers in the context of fiscal consolidation programs," MPRA Paper 98736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai & Minjoon Lee & Fudong Zhang, 2020. "The Welfare and Distributional Effects of Fiscal Volatility: a Quantitative Evaluation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 127-153, October.
    9. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai & Minjoon Lee & Fudong Zhang, 2020. "The Welfare and Distributional Effects of Fiscal Volatility: a Quantitative Evaluation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 127-153, October.
    10. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim, 2019. "What Do We Know About the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy? A Brief Survey of the Literature on Fiscal Multipliers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 52(1), pages 78-93, March.
    11. Thibault Lemaire, 2020. "Fiscal Consolidations and Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean," Post-Print halshs-02492309, HAL.
    12. Heer, Burkhard & Scharrer, Christian, 2018. "The age-specific burdens of short-run fluctuations in government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 45-75.
    13. Huidrom, Raju & Kose, M. Ayhan & Lim, Jamus J. & Ohnsorge, Franziska L., 2020. "Why do fiscal multipliers depend on fiscal Positions?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 109-125.
    14. Bayer, Christian & Born, Benjamin & Luetticke, Ralph, 2020. "The Liquidity Channel of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 14883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 843-921, Elsevier.
    16. Dell'Erba, Salvatore & Koloskova, Ksenia & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos, 2018. "Medium-term fiscal multipliers during protracted economic contractions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 35-52.
    17. Ağca, Şenay & Igan, Deniz, 2019. "Fiscal consolidations and the cost of credit," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 84-108.
    18. Christian Bredemeier & Falko Juessen & Roland Winkler, 2020. "Fiscal Policy and Occupational Employment Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(6), pages 1527-1563, September.
    19. Alesina, Alberto & Barbiero, Omar & Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Paradisi, Matteo, 2017. "The effects of Fiscal Consolidations: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 12016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Eunseong Ma, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Responses of Consumption between Poor and Rich to Government Spending Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(7), pages 1999-2028, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Consolidation; Income Inequality; Fiscal Multipliers; Public Debt; Income Risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:1703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fepuppt.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ana Bonanca (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fepuppt.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.