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How well the balance-of- payments constraint approach explains the Portuguese growth performance: empirical evidence for the 1965-2008 period

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Author Info

  • Micaela Antunes

    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra)

  • Elias Soukiazis

    ()
    (Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra)

Abstract

The present study aims to verify whether the balance-of-payments constrained growth approach is suitable for explaining the Portuguese growth performance during the last decades. For that, we adopt “Thirlwall’s Law” that predicts actual growth by the ratio of the exports growth relative to the income-elasticity of the demand for imports. The income-elasticity of imports, essential for the entire analysis, is obtained from the estimation of the imports function by 2SLS, assuming that domestic growth is endogenous. To smooth cyclical variations, 15-year overlapping periods are considered in the computation of “Thirlwall’s Law”, assuming that income-elasticity with respect to imports is either constant or variable over time. It is found that the Law is a good instrument for predicting actual growth in Portugal and this result is reinforced by performing the McCombie test. Our results reveal that Portugal grew slightly higher relatively to the OECD countries in the entire period and this is consistent with the income-elasticity of the demand for exports exceeding that of imports, as “Thirlwall’s Law” implies. Portugal also grew slightly faster than the rate consistent with the balance-of-payments equilibrium, accumulating external deficits over time. Dividing the sample in the pre and post-adhesion period to the EU, it is shown that Portugal grew at a lower rate in the latter, and this is consistent with lower export growth and higher income-elasticity with respect to imports. To overcome this problem, policies are needed to improve the supply characteristics of exports related to non-price competitiveness and reduce the imports sensitivity with respect to domestic income changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2009-13.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2009-13

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Keywords: balance-of-payments equilibrium growth rate; income-elasticities with respect to trade; overlapping periods; 2SLS regressions;

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  1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," North American Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 05, Stata Users Group.
  2. A. P. Thirlwall, 2011. "Balance of Payments Constrained Growth Models: History and Overview," Studies in Economics 1111, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  3. H. Sonmez Atesoglu, 1995. "An explanation of the slowdown in US economic growth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 91-94.
  4. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," CERT Discussion Papers 0706, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  5. Anthony Philip Thirlwall, 1979. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 32(128), pages 45-53.
  6. Erkin I. Bairam, 1997. "Levels of Economic Development and Appropriate Specification of the Harrod Foreign-Trade Multiplier," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 19(3), pages 337-344, April.
  7. H. Sonmez Atesoglu, 1993. "Balance-of-Payments-Constrained Growth: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 15(4), pages 507-514, July.
  8. Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, March.
  9. Thirlwall, Anthony P & Hussain, Mohammed Nureldin, 1982. "The Balance of Payments Constraint, Capital Flows and Growth Rate Differences between Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 498-510, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Elias Soukiazis & Pedro Cerqueira & Micaela Antunes, 2011. "Growth rates constrained by internal and external imbalances: a demand orientated approach," GEMF Working Papers 2011-12, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  2. Elias Soukiazis & Micaela Antunes, 2013. "Growth Performance in Portugal since the 1960s: A Simultaneous Equation Approach with Cumulative Causation Characteristics," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(1), pages 169-192, March.
  3. Soukiazis, Elias & Cerqueira, Pedro A. & Antunes, Micaela, 2012. "Modelling economic growth with internal and external imbalances: Empirical evidence from Portugal," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 478-486.

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