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The Effects of Social Spending on Economic Activity: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries

  • Davide, Furceri
  • Aleksandra, Zdzienicka

The aim of this paper is to assess the short term effects of social spending on economic activity. Using a panel of OECD countries from 1980 to 2005, the results show that social spending has expansionary effects on GDP. In particular, we find that an increase of 1% of social spending increases GDP by about 0.1 percentage point, which, given the share of social spending to GDP, corresponds to a multiplier of about 0.6. The effect is similar to the one of total government spending, and it is larger in periods of severe downturns. Among spending subcategories, social spending in Health and Unemployment benefits have the greatest effects. Social spending also positively affects private consumption while it has negligible effects on investment. The empirical results are economically and statistically significant, and robust.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30356.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30356
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  14. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  15. Furceri, Davide, 2010. "Stabilization effects of social spending: Empirical evidence from a panel of OECD countries," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 34-48, March.
  16. Henry, Jerome & Hernandez de Cos, Pablo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2008. "The impact of government budgets on prices: Evidence from macroeconometric models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 123-143.
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