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Austerity, Inequality, and Private Debt Overhang

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  • Klein, Mathias
  • Winkler, Roland

Abstract

We show that the distributional consequences of fiscal consolidations depend significantly on the level of private indebtedness. Austerity leads to a strong and persistent increase in income inequality when private debt is high. In contrast, there are no discernible distributional effects when private debt is low. This result is robust to alternative identifications of consolidations, to different ways of defining high and low debt states, and to controlling for the state of the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Mathias & Winkler, Roland, 2017. "Austerity, Inequality, and Private Debt Overhang," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168076, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc17:168076
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    1. Klein, Mathias & Polattimur, Hamza & Winkler, Roland, 2022. "Fiscal spending multipliers over the household leverage cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    2. Dante Cardoso & Laura Carvalho, 2022. "Effects of fiscal consolidation on income inequality: narrative evidence from South America," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2022_15, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    3. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2018. "Nonfinancial debt and economic growth in euro-area countries," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 17-37.
    4. Sangyup Choi & Junhyeok Shin, 2020. "Household Indebtedness and the Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes," Working papers 2020rwp-178, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    5. Kose, M. Ayhan & Kurlat, Sergio & Ohnsorge, Franziska & Sugawara, Naotaka, 2022. "A cross-country database of fiscal space," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    6. Karamysheva, Madina & Skrobotov, Anton, 2022. "Do we reject restrictions identifying fiscal shocks? identification based on non-Gaussian innovations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    7. Klein, Mathias & Winkler, Roland, 2019. "Austerity, inequality, and private debt overhang," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 89-106.
    8. Oliver Hülsewig & Horst Rottmann, 2022. "Euro Area Periphery Countries' Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy Surprises," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(3), pages 544-568, June.
    9. Marco Bernardini & Selien De Schryder & Gert Peersman, 2020. "Heterogeneous Government Spending Multipliers in the Era Surrounding the Great Recession," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 304-322, May.
    10. Martin Harding & Mathias Klein, 2022. "Monetary policy and household net worth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 44, pages 125-151, April.
    11. Javier Andrés & José E. Boscá & Javier Ferri & Cristina Fuentes‐Albero, 2022. "Households' Balance Sheets and the Effect of Fiscal Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 54(4), pages 737-778, June.
    12. Snezana Eminidou & Martin Geiger & Marios Zachariadis, 2021. "Public Debt and state-dependent Effects of Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 03-2021, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    13. Auerbach, Alan & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & McCrory, Peter B. & Murphy, Daniel, 2022. "Fiscal multipliers in the COVID19 recession," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    14. Mathias Klein, 2018. "What Determines the Costs of Fiscal Consolidations?," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 120, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Angrick, Stefan & Nemoto, Naoko, 2018. "Breaking Par: Short-Term Determinants of Yen-Dollar Swap Deviations," ADBI Working Papers 859, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    16. Yuliya Demyanyk & Elena Loutskina & Daniel Murphy, 2019. "Fiscal Stimulus and Consumer Debt," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 728-741, October.
    17. Vadim Elenev & Tim Landvoigt & Patrick J. Shultz & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2021. "Can Monetary Policy Create Fiscal Capacity?," NBER Working Papers 29129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Vanesa Jorda & Jose M. Alonso, 2020. "What works to mitigate and reduce relative (and absolute) inequality?: A systematic review," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-152, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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