1. Effects on Production
The effect of public expenditure on production can be examined with reference to its effects on ability & willingness to work, save & invest and on diversion of resources.
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- Ability to work, save and invest : Socially desirable public expenditure increases community's productive capacity. Expenditure on education, health, communication, increases people's productivity at work and therefore their incomes. With rise in income savings also increase and this in turn has a beneficial effect on investment and capital formation.
- Willingness to work, save and invest : Public expenditure, sometimes, brings adverse effects on people's willingness to work and save. Government expenditure on social security facilities may bring such unfavourable effects. For e.g. Government spends a considerable portion of its income towards provision of social security benefits such as unemployment allowances old age pension, insurance benefits, sickness benefit, medical benefit, etc. Such benefits reduce the desire to work. In other words they act as disincentive to work.
- Effect on allocation of resources among different industries & trade : Many a times the government expenditure proves to be an effective instrument to encourage investment on a particular industry. For e.g. If government decides to promote exports, it provides benefits like subsidies, tax benefits to attract investment towards such industry. Similarly government can also promote a particular region by providing various incentives for those who make investment in that region.
2. Effects on Distribution
The primary aim of the government is to maximise social benefit through public expenditure. The objective of maximum social welfare can be achieved only when the inequality of income is removed or minimised. Government expenditure is very useful to fulfill this goal. Government collects excess income of the rich through income tax and sales tax on luxuries. The funds thus mobilised are directed towards welfare programmes to promote the standard of poor and weaker section. Thus public expenditure helps to achieve the objective of equal distribution of income.
Expenditure on social security & subsidies to poor are aimed at increasing their real income & purchasing power. Public expenditure on education, communication, health has a positive impact on productivity of the weaker section of society, thereby increasing their income earning capacity.
3. Effects on Consumption
Public expenditure enables redistribution of income in favour of poor. It improves the capacity of the poor to consume. Thus public expenditure promotes consumption and thereby other economic activities. The government expenditure on welfare programmes like free education, health care and housing certainly improves the standard of the poor people. It also promotes their capacity to consume and save.
4. Effects on Economic Stability
Economic instability takes the form of depression, recession and inflation. Public expenditure is used as a mechanism to control instability. The modern economist Keynes advocated public expenditure as a better device to raise effective demand & to get out of depression. Public expenditure is also useful in controlling inflation & deflation. Expansion of Public expenditure during deflation & reduction of public expenditure during inflation control money supply & bring price stability.
5. Effects on Economic Growth
The goals of planning are effectively realised only through government expenditure. The government allocates funds for the growth of various sectors like agriculture, industry, transport, communications, education, energy, health, exports, imports, with a view to achieve impressive growth.
Government expenditure has been very helpful in maintaining balanced economic growth. Government takes keen interest to allocate more resources for development of backward regions. Such efforts reduces regional inequality and promotes balanced economic growth.
Modern economies have all experienced tremendous growth in public expenditure. So it is absolutely necessary for governments to formulate rational public expenditure policies in order to achieve the desired effects on income, distribution, employment and growth.
Articles On Public / Government Expenditure ↓
- What is Public Expenditure? Meaning and Classification
- Causes for the Growth of Public Expenditure in India
- Adolph Wagner's Law of Increasing State Activity