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Energy subsidies and public social spending : theory and evidence

Author: Christian Ebeke; Constant Lonkeng Ngouana; International Monetary Fund. European Department.; International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Department.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : International Monetary Fund, ©2015.
Series: IMF working paper, WP/15/101.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : International government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This paper shows that high energy subsidies and low public social spending can emerge as an equilibrium outcome of a political game between the elite and the middle-class when the provision of public goods is subject to bottlenecks, reflecting weak domestic institutions. We test this and other predictions of our model using a large cross-section of emerging markets and low-income countries. The main empirical  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, International government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Christian Ebeke; Constant Lonkeng Ngouana; International Monetary Fund. European Department.; International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Department.
OCLC Number: 908693981
Notes: "May 2015."
"European Department and Fiscal Affairs Department."
Description: 1 online resource (30 pages) : color illustrations, color maps.
Series Title: IMF working paper, WP/15/101.
Responsibility: prepared by Christian Ebeke and Constant Lonkeng Ngouana.

Abstract:

This paper shows that high energy subsidies and low public social spending can emerge as an equilibrium outcome of a political game between the elite and the middle-class when the provision of public goods is subject to bottlenecks, reflecting weak domestic institutions. We test this and other predictions of our model using a large cross-section of emerging markets and low-income countries. The main empirical challenge is that subsidies and social spending could be jointly determined (e.g., at the time of the budget), leading to a simultaneity bias in OLS estimates. To address this concern, we adopt an identification strategy whereby subsidies in a given country are instrumented by the level of subsidies in neighboring countries. Our Instrumental Variable (IV) estimations suggest that public expenditures in education and health were on average lower by 0.6 percentage point of GDP in countries where energy subsidies were 1 percentage point of GDP higher. Moreover, we find that the crowding-out was stronger in the presence of weak domestic institutions, narrow fiscal space, and among the net oil importers. --Abstract.

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