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The Politics of Endogenous Growth

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  • Chetan Ghate
  • Paul J. Zak

Abstract

Is it politically feasible for governments to engineer endogenous growth? This paper illustrates two reasonable political decision mechanisms by which fiscal policy generates endogenous growth with a single accumulable factor, under a constant returns to scale production technology, and without production externalities. In the first mechanism, optimal policies are chosen by the government to maximize constituent support by raising aggregate income. In the second mechanism, optimal policies are determined in a voting equilibrium where agents are concerned only with their own incomes. We demonstrate that policies that target aggregates generate balanced growth and are Pareto optimal. Policies chosen by the median voter also produce balanced growth, but result in public investment 50% below the socially optimal level.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.37717.de/dp320.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 320.

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Length: 12 p.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp320

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Keywords: Public Investment; Positive Political Economy; Median Voter Theorem; Endogenous Growth;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chetan Ghate & Quan Vu Le & Paul J. Zak, 2002. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in an Economy Facing Socio-Political Instability," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 308, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Ghate, Chetan, 2001. "Lobbying, the Composition of Government Expenditures, and the Politics of Fiscal Policy," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 133-45, June.
  4. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  5. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  6. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  8. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
  9. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  10. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
  11. Rioja, Felix K., 1999. "Productiveness and welfare implications of public infrastructure: a dynamic two-sector general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 387-404, April.
  12. Ghate, Chetan & Zak, Paul J., 2002. "Growth of government and the politics of fiscal policy," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 435-455, December.
  13. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  14. Fisher, Walter H & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1998. "Public Investment, Congestion, and Private Capital Accumulation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 399-413, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Tatiana Fic & Chetan Ghate, 2004. "The Welfare State, Thresholds, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 424, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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