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

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  • Davide, Furceri
  • Aleksandra, Zdzienicka

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide, Furceri & Aleksandra, Zdzienicka, 2011. "The Effects of Social Spending on Economic Activity: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," MPRA Paper 30356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30356
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    Cited by:

    1. de Ridder, M. & Pfajfar, D., 2017. "Policy Shocks and Wage Rigidities: Empirical Evidence from Regional Effects of National Shocks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1717, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Tudorache, Maria-Daniela, 2020. "Human development: a key driver of socioeconomic development in EU," EconStor Conference Papers 222441, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    3. Konstantinou, Panagiotis Th. & Partheniou, Andromachi, 2021. "The Effects of Government Spending Over the Business Cycle: A Disaggregated Analysis for OECD and Non-OECD Countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 809-822.
    4. Athanasios Tagkalakis, 2013. "The unemployment effects of fiscal policy: recent evidence from Greece," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, December.
    5. Leonel Muinelo-Gallo & Oriol Roca-Sagalés, 2017. "Long-term effects of fiscal policy in Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 17-02, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    6. Ramesh Chandra Das & Enrico Ivaldi, 2020. "Growth and Convergence of Social Sectors’ Expenditure in Indian States: Upshots from Neoclassical Growth and Panel Unit Roots Models," Journal of Infrastructure Development, India Development Foundation, vol. 12(1), pages 69-83, June.
    7. de Ridder, Maarten, 2016. "Investment in productivity and the long-run effect of financial crises on output," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86180, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier & Sergio Sola, 2011. "Identifying the Effects of Government Spending Shocks with and without Expected Reversal: an Approach Based on U.S. Real-Time Data," IHEID Working Papers 12-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    9. Şen, Hüseyin & Kaya, Ayşe, 2021. "Output-volatility reducing effects of automatic stabilizers: Policy implications for EMU member states," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1388-1414.
    10. Martin Murín, 2016. "Vplyv spôsobu tvorby fiškálneho deficitu na ekonomický rast [The Influence of Fiscal Deficit Creation on Economic Growth]," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2016(2), pages 176-192.
    11. Alessandro Crociata & Massimiliano Agovino & Donatella Furia & Giacomo Osmi & Nicola Mattoscio & Massimiliano Cerciello, 2020. "Impulse and time persistence of disaggregate welfare expenditure on growth in the EU," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(1), pages 13-38, April.
    12. Sebastian Gechert & Ansgar Rannenberg, 2014. "Are Fiscal Multipliers Regime-Dependent? A Meta Regression Analysis," IMK Working Paper 139-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    13. Davide Furceri & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2011. "Does Government Spending Crowd Out Private Consumption and Investment?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 12(4), pages 153-170, October.
    14. Jalles, João Tovar, 2020. "The volatility impact of social expenditure’s cyclicality in advanced economies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 26-40.
    15. Şen, Hüseyin & Kaya, Ayşe, 2019. "Output-volatility reducing effect of automatic stabilizers: Evidence from nine EMU member states," EconStor Preprints 206687, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    16. Susan E. Mayer & Leonard M. Lopoo & Lincoln H. Groves, 2016. "Government spending and the distribution of economic growth," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 83(2), pages 399-415, October.
    17. Marta C. N. Simões & Adelaide P. S. Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2015. "Social Spending, Inequality and Growth in Times of Austerity: Insights from Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2015-16, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    18. Juan González Alegre, 2017. "The Efficiency of Active Labour Market Policies in the European Union: Does It Make Sense Increasing the Bill?," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 67(3), pages 333-357, September.
    19. Pasquale Tridico & Walter Paternesi Meloni, 2018. "Economic growth, welfare models and inequality in the context of globalisation," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 29(1), pages 118-139, March.
    20. Marta Simões & Adelaide Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2014. "Assessing the Impact of the Welfare State on Economic Growth: A Survey of Recent Developments," GEMF Working Papers 2014-20, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    21. Rafael Munoz de Bustillo Llorente, 2019. "Key challenges for the European Welfare States," JRC Working Papers on Labour, Education and Technology 2019-04, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    22. Dimitrios Sideris & Georgia Pavlou, 2021. "Disaggregate income and wealth effects on private consumption in Greece," Working Papers 293, Bank of Greece.
    23. Shrabanti Maity & Anup Sinha, 2021. "Linkages between Economic Growth and Population Ageing with a Knowledge Spillover Effect," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 12(4), pages 1905-1924, December.
    24. Bernardi, L., 2012. "Heterogeneity of taxation in EA Member countries and some implications for EA fiscal governance," MPRA Paper 40050, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Policy; Social Spending; Economic Activity.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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