Essays on Energy and Macroeconomics

This thesis is a collection of four self-contained, but related, chapters that examine the macroeconomic effects of economic inequality, volatility in energy prices and their implications for economic policy uncertainty. Specifically, Chapter 2 investigates the effect of fiscal equalization payments on the composition of subnational government spending and its implications for regional convergence in living standards. Chapter 3 examines the effect of income inequality on economic growth. Chapter 4 examines the effect of changes in oil prices on economic policy uncertainty. Chapter 5 investigates the primary drivers of natural gas price volatility.