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Increasing Public Expenditure: Wagner's Law in OECD Countries

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  • Serena Lamartina
  • Andrea Zaghini

Abstract

The paper proposes a panel cointegration analysis of the joint development of government expenditures and economic growth in 23 OECD countries. The empirical evidence provides indication of a structural positive correlation between public spending and per-capita GDP which is consistent with the so-called Wagner’s law. A long-run elasticity larger than one suggests a more than proportional increase of government expenditures with respect to economic activity. In addition, according to the spirit of the law, we found that the correlation is usually higher in countries with lower per-capita GDP, suggesting that the catching-up period is characterized by a stronger development of government activities with respect to economies in a more advanced state of development. --

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0475.2010.00517.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 149-164

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:149-164

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References

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  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Seminar Papers 658, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Peacock, Alan & Scott, Alex, 2000. " The Curious Attraction of Wagner's Law," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 1-17, January.
  4. Andrés, Javier & Doménech, Rafael & Fatás, Antonio, 2004. "The Stabilizing Role of Government Size," CEPR Discussion Papers 4384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Cameron A. Shelton, 2007. "The Size and Composition of Government Expenditure," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2007-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  6. Romain Ranciere & Norman Loayza, 2004. "Financial Development, Financial Fragility and Growth," Working Papers 192, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  8. Bird, Richard M, 1971. "Wagner's o Law' of Expanding State Activity," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 26(1), pages 1-26.
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  12. Bassanini, Andrea & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2002. "Does human capital matter for growth in OECD countries? A pooled mean-group approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 399-405, February.
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  17. Anisul Islam, 2001. "Wagner's law revisited: cointegration and exogeneity tests for the USA," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(8), pages 509-515.
  18. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
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  20. Joseph P. Byrne & E. Philip Davis, 2005. "The Impact of Short- and Long-run Exchange Rate Uncertainty on Investment: A Panel Study of Industrial Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(3), pages 307-329, 06.
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  22. John Thornton, 1999. "Cointegration, causality and Wagner's Law in 19th century Europe," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(7), pages 413-416.
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Cited by:
  1. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2010. "Wagner's law and augmented Wagner's law in EU-27. A time-series analysis on stationarity, cointegration and causality," MPRA Paper 26668, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Durevall, Dick & Henrekson, Magnus, 2010. "The Futile Quest for a Grand Explanation of Long-Run Government Expenditure," Working Papers in Economics 428, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2011.
  3. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2012. "Wagner versus Keynes: Public spending and national income in Italy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 890-905.
  4. Arze del Granado, F. Javier & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Decentralized Governance and Preferences for Public Goods," MPRA Paper 42459, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2010. "Wagner's law and Italian disaggregated public spending: some empirical evidences," MPRA Paper 26662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2011. "The nexus between public expenditure and inflation in the Mediterranean countries," MPRA Paper 28493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Cosimo Magazzino, 2012. "The Nexus between Disaggregated Public Spending and GDP in the Euro Area," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2560-2579.

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