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Impact of Government Spending on Private Consumption and on the Economy: Case of Thailand

Authors: Paitoon Kraipornsak


The recent global financial problem urges government to play role in stimulating the economy due to the fact that private sector has little ability to purchase during the recession. A concerned question is whether the increased government spending crowds out private consumption and whether it helps stimulate the economy. If the government spending policy is effective; the private consumption is expected to increase and can compensate the recent extra government expense. In this study, the government spending is categorized into government consumption spending and government capital spending. The study firstly examines consumer consumption along the line with the demand function in microeconomic theory. Three categories of private consumption are used in the study. Those are food consumption, non food consumption, and services consumption. The dynamic Almost Ideal Demand System of the three categories of the private consumption is estimated using the Vector Error Correction Mechanism model. The estimated model indicates the substituting effects (negative impacts) of the government consumption spending on budget shares of private non food consumption and of the government capital spending on budget share of private food consumption, respectively. Nevertheless the result does not necessarily indicate whether the negative effects of changes in the budget shares of the non food and the food consumption means fallen total private consumption. Microeconomic consumer demand analysis clearly indicates changes in component structure of aggregate expenditure in the economy as a result of the government spending policy. The macroeconomic concept of aggregate demand comprising consumption, investment, government spending (the government consumption spending and the government capital spending), export, and import are used to estimate for their relationship using the Vector Error Correction Mechanism model. The macroeconomic study found no effect of the government capital spending on either the private consumption or the growth of GDP while the government consumption spending has negative effect on the growth of GDP. Therefore no crowding out effect of the government spending is found on the private consumption but it is ineffective and even inefficient expenditure as found reducing growth of the GDP in the context of Thailand.

Keywords: government consumption spending, governmentcapital spending, private consumption on food, non food, andservices, Vector Error Correction Mechanism, Almost Ideal DemandSystem, substitution effect, complementary effect, consumer demand, aggregate demand

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