Translated Titles

The Impact of the Worsening Income Distribution on the Government Expenditure: 1980-2004




吳親恩(Chin-En Wu)

Key Words

所得分配 ; 公共支出 ; 移轉性支出 ; 民主化 ; 政府負債 ; income distribution ; public expenditure ; transfer payments ; democratization ; government debt



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

25卷1期(2007 / 03 / 01)

Page #

73 - 114

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

In recent years the outstanding debt of central government as a percentage of GDP exhibits a secular increase in Taiwan, increasing the government's financial burden. Extensive public works and social welfare programs following the democratic transition are considered the main political causes. While many such projects are directly intending to attract votes, the worsening distribution of income may also be a driving force. When the distribution of income worsens, the demand to increase social welfare and reduce unemployment rates follow. Governments facing this rising demand are induced to provide various projects to alleviate this problem. This suggests that worsening income distribution and pork-barrel projects jointly create a heavy financial burden for the government. Further, projects aiming to improve income distribution are not limited to income transfer payments; both employment and public works projects, to different extents, serve the same purpose. All such projects expand the level of government expenditure. However, given that tax increases are politically difficult, the financial gap forces the government to issue public debt to finance these projects.

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