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Expansionary Effects of the Welfare State in a Small Open Economy

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  • Hassan Molana
  • Catia Montagna

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Abstract

We examine the relationship between welfare state policies and economic performance in a small open economy with (i) free trade in final goods and international capital mobility, and (ii) aggregate increasing returns to scale. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, we find that a retrenchment of welfare programmes is not an inevitable consequence of economic integration. Instead, by improving the exploitation of aggregate scale economies, social expenditure policies and international openness complement each other in facilitating an improvement in economic performance that can sustain a more generous welfare protection.

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File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/CDMA/papers/cp0505.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Conference Paper Series with number 0505.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmacp:0505

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Keywords: Welfare state; circular causation; international trade; capital mobility.;

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  1. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "External Effects in U.S. Procyclical Productivity," Papers 91-19, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 99-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Hassan Molana & Catia Montagna, 2005. "Aggregate Scale Economies, Market Integration and Optimal Welfare State Policy," International Trade 0509006, EconWPA.
  5. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  6. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Coordination failures and government policy: A model with applications to East Asia and Eastern Europe," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
  7. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "The division of labor and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-32, April.
  8. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-84, September.
  9. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2003. "Do Social Policies Harm Employment and Growth?," CESifo Working Paper Series 886, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Devereux, Michael B & Head, Allen C & Lapham, Beverly J, 2000. " Government Spending and Welfare with Returns to Specialization," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 547-61, December.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-39, December.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  13. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Venables, Anthony J., 1996. "Trade policy, cumulative causation, and industrial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 179-197, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2008. "Globalisation squeezes the public sector - is it so obvious?," Economics Working Papers 2008-08, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.

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