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Wagner's Law revisited: cointegration and causality tests for New Zealand

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  • Saten Kumar
  • Don J. Webber
  • Scott Fargher

Abstract

Wagner's Law states that the share of government expenditure in Gross National Product (GNP) will increase with economic development; many associated empirical studies substitute GNP with Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This article presents an empirical investigation into the validity of Wagner's Law for New Zealand over the period 1960 to 2007 and compares the results obtained using these two measures of output. Application of the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds test suggests a cointegrating relationship between either output measure and the share of government spending, and further application of General to Specific (GETS), Engle and Granger (EG), Phillip Hansen's Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS) and Johansen's time series techniques illustrate statistical robustness and an income elasticity between 0.56 and 0.84. The results suggest that output measures Granger cause the share of government expenditure in the long run, thereby providing support for Wagner's Law, and these results are stable irrespective of the chosen output measure.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (February)
Pages: 607-616

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:5:p:607-616

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  1. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918.
  2. Oxley, Les, 1994. "Cointegration, Causality and Wagner's Law: A Test for Britain 1870-1913," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(3), pages 286-98, August.
  3. Sinha, Dipendra, 2007. "Does the Wagner’s Law hold for Thailand? A Time Series Study," MPRA Paper 2560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Bharat Kolluri & Michael Panik & Mahmoud Wahab, 2000. "Government expenditure and economic growth: evidence from G7 countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(8), pages 1059-1068.
  5. Dimitrios Sideris, 2007. "Wagner's Law in 19th Century Greece: A Cointegration and Causality Analysis," Working Papers 64, Bank of Greece.
  6. Alfonso Arpaia & Alessandro Turrini, 2008. "Government expenditure and economic growth in the EU: long-run tendencies and short-term adjustment," European Economy - Economic Papers 300, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Iris Claus & Aaron Gill & Boram Lee & Nathan McLellan, 2006. "An empirical investigation of fiscal policy in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 06/08, New Zealand Treasury.
  8. Tsangyao Chang & WenRong Liu & Steven Caudill, 2004. "A re-examination of Wagner's law for ten countries based on cointegration and error-correction modelling techniques," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 577-589.
  9. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  10. Tsangyao Chang, 2002. "An econometric test of Wagner's law for six countries based on cointegration and error-correction modelling techniques," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 1157-1169.
  11. Felicity C Barker & Robert A Buckle & Robert W St Clair, 2008. "Roles of Fiscal Policy in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 08/02, New Zealand Treasury.
  12. M. I. Ansari & D. V. Gordon & C. Akuamoah, 1997. "Keynes versus Wagner: public expenditure and national income for three African countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 543-550.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2010. "Wagner's law and Italian disaggregated public spending: some empirical evidences," MPRA Paper 26662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Saten Kumar, 2011. "Estimating export demand equations in selected Asian countriess," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(1), pages 5-16, February.
  3. Kumar, Saten & Webber, Don J., 2010. "Australasian money demand stability: Application of structural break tests," MPRA Paper 27569, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. François Facchini & Mickaël Melki, 2011. "Optimal Government Size and Economic Growth in France (1871-2008): An explanation by the State and Market Failures," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11077, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  5. Cosimo Magazzino, 2012. "The Nexus between Disaggregated Public Spending and GDP in the Euro Area," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2560-2579.
  6. Kumar, Saten & Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2010. "Coal Consumption and Economic Growth Revisited: Structural Breaks, Cointegration and Causality Tests for Pakistan," MPRA Paper 26151, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. 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.
  8. Asuman Oktayer & Nagihan Oktayer, 2013. "Testing Wagner´s Law for Turkey: Evidence from a Trivariate Causality Analysis," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(2), pages 284-301.
  9. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2012. "Wagner versus Keynes: Public spending and national income in Italy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 890-905.
  10. Emilio Congregado & Antonio Golpe & André Stel, 2014. "The role of scale economies in determining firm size in modern economies," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 431-455, March.

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