Fiscal performance and income inequality: Are unequal societies more deficit-prone? Some cross-country evidence
A bias towards running deficits is an entrenched feature of fiscal policy making in most developed economies. Our paper examines whether this tendency is in any way associated with the personal distribution of income of a country. It takes inspiration from theoretical work according to which distributional conflicts may give rise to deficit spending or to delayed fiscal adjustment. Although these theories have been around for years the empirical literature on the determinants of fiscal performance has so far paid little or no attention to the possible role played by different degrees of income inequality. Our results suggest that this neglect was not justified. Using cross-country data we find evidence that a more unequal distribution of income can weigh on a country's fiscal performance. These findings can be relevant in the aftermath of the post-2007 global financial and economic crisis in particular when designing fiscal exist strategies. The success and sustainability of such strategies may inter alia depend on their distributional implications.
|Date of creation:||May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- F. Ballabriga & C. Martinez-Mongay, 2002. "Has EMU shifted policy?," European Economy - Economic Papers 166, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003.
"Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe,"
CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
- Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Atkinson, A-B, 1996.
"Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold,"
117, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Guido Tabellini, 1989.
"The Politics of Intergenerational Redistribution,"
NBER Working Papers
3058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fabrizio Balassone & Maura Francese & Stefania Zotteri, 2008. "Cyclical asymmetry in fiscal variables," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 671, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, May.
- Graham Pyatt, 2003. "Development and the Distribution of Living Standards: A Critique of the Evolving Data Base," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(3), pages 333-358, 09.
- Barro, Robert J., 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999.
"Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
- Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & GarcÃa-PeÃ±alosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991.
"Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
- Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Discretionary Fiscal Policy and Elections: The Experience of the Early Years of EMU," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 351, OECD Publishing.
- Lorenzo Forni & Sandro Momigliano, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 540, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999.
"A Data Set on Income Distribution,"
CEMA Working Papers
575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
- Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
- Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23496. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.