The Relationship Between Tax Revenue and Public Social Expenditure in the EU Member States
Purpose: The objective of this paper is to identify, with the use of statistical methods, the relationship between the level of fiscalism and the ratio of social expenditure to the total public expenditure in the EU-28. Design/Methodology/Approach: Linear regression and correlation were used to assess the interdependence between the tax revenue-to-GDP ratio and the ratio of social expenditure to the total public expenditure in the EU-28. Then, using the direction of the slope as the criterion, the EU 28 were classified into countries with a positive relationship (the lower and upper border of the confidence interval are positive) and countries with a negative relationship (the lower and upper border of the confidence interval are negative). Findings: The research confirmed that the EU Member States with a high level of fiscalism in 2004-2018, in principle, were characterised by the following interdependence: the higher the tax revenue-to-GDP ratio was, the higher the ratio of social expenditure to the total public expenditure was. After the decomposition of public expenditure, a similar relationship was identified for public expenditure on social protection, while no such relationship was identified for other categories of expenditure for social purposes. Practical Implications: The research results are important as the EU-28 are striving to maintain fiscal stability. The research findings point to the need of verifying the tasks in the field of social protection in countries with a high level of fiscalism. Increasing these tasks, mean a further increase in the tax burden on the economy. Originality/Value: The research adds value to the testing of the fiscal-synchronization hypothesis. The originality of the research mainly results from its detailed nature. The relationship between the level of fiscalism and public expenditure was identified not in general terms but incurred for tasks related to the implementation of social policy in the individual EU-28.