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How reliable is pooled analysis in political economy? The globalization welfare state nexus revisited


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  • Kittel, Bernhard
  • Winner, Hannes


Panel data analysis has become very popular in comparative political economy. However, in order to draw meaningful inferences from such data, one has to address specification and estimation issues carefully. This paper aims to demonstrate various pitfalls that typically occur in applied empirical work. To illustrate this, we refer to the debate on the globalization-welfare state nexus. We reexamine a model by Garrett and Mitchell (2001), a leading study in this regard. Utilizing a data set of 17 OECD countries and the time period 1961 to 1993, they find evidence that globalization and partisan composition have a significant im-pact on the extent of public activity. However, because they apply a dynamic specification in levels, they do not adequately take into account both the dynamic and spherical nature of the data. In contrast, we propose an autoregressive model in first differences that is shown to perform well in statistical terms. Further, we explicitly pay attention to the time pattern of the globalization-welfare state nexus. Substantively, we find evidence that government spending is primarily driven by the state of the domestic economy. Neither partisan effects nor the international economic environment have affected public expenditure considerably. -- Panel-Daten erfreuen sich in politisch-ökonomischen Analysen zunehmender Beliebtheit. Allerdings enthalten derartige Daten einige ökonometrische Fallstricke, die wir in der vorliegenden Arbeit aufzeigen. Zur Illustration nehmen wir auf die Diskussion über den Zusammenhang zwischen Globalisierung und Wohlfahrtsstaat Bezug. Dazu greifen wir eine Arbeit von Garrett und Mitchell (2001) auf, in der gezeigt wird, dass Globalisierung und die parteimäßige Zusammensetzung der Regierung einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die Staatstätigkeit ausüben. Wir argumentieren, dass dieses Ergebnis von ihrer Modellspezifikation (dynamische Spezifikation in Niveaugrößen) getrieben wird. Demgegenüber zeigen wir, dass in der vorliegenden Datenkonstellation die statistischen Eigenschaften des Störterms ökonometrisch korrekt nur durch ein autoregressives Modell in ersten Differenzen berücksichtigt werden können. Unter Beachtung von unterschiedlichen Phasen der Internationalisierung finden wir weiters, dass die Staatsausgabentätigkeit primär durch binnenwirtschaftliche Faktoren erklärt wird. Weder Parteieneffekte noch Globalisierungsphänomene haben die Veränderung der Staatsausgaben nennenswert beeinflusst.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 02/3.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:023

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  1. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 2001. "Confidence intervals for autoregressive coefficients near one," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1-2), pages 155-181, July.
  3. Chihwa Kao & Min-Hsien Chiang, 1999. "On the Estimation and Inference of a Cointegrated Regression in Panel Data," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 2, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  4. Beck, Nathaniel & Katz, Jonathan N., 2001. "Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water: A Comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 487-495, March.
  5. Günther G. Schulze & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1999. "Globalisation of the Economy and the Nation State," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 295-352, 05.
  6. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  7. Nathaniel Beck, Jonathan N. Katz, 2004. "Random Coefficient models for time-series-cross-section data," Working Papers 1205, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Genschel, Philipp, 2004. "Globalisation and the welfare state: A retrospective," TranState Working Papers 3, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  2. Busemeyer, Marius R., 2007. "Social democrats and education spending: A refined perspective on supply-side strategies," MPIfG Working Paper 07/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  3. Paetzold, Jörg, 2012. "The Convergence of Welfare State Indicators in Europe: Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012-4, University of Salzburg.
  4. Justesen, Mogens K. & Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2007. "The constitution of economic growth: Testing the prosperity effects of a Madisonian model on a panel of countries 1980‐2000," MPRA Paper 36063, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Michael M. Bechtel & Roland Füss, 2010. "Capitalizing on Partisan Politics? The Political Economy of Sector-Specific Redistribution in Germany," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(2-3), pages 203-235, 03.
  6. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2012. "Do elections affect the composition of fiscal policy in developed, established democracies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 325-362, April.
  7. Kemmerling, Achim, 2006. "Diffusion und Interaktion in der Arbeitsmarktpolitik? Positive und negative Ansteckungseffekte am Beispiel zweier Reformdiskussionen," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2006-119, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Stephanie Meinhard & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "The Globalization-welfare State Nexus Reconsidered," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-27, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  9. Busemeyer, Marius R., 2007. "The Impact of Fiscal Decentralisation on Education and Other Types of Spending," MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  10. Manuela Arcanjo, 2009. "The Reform of Unemployment Protection Insurance, 1993-2007: the Erosion of Legislated Rights in France, Germany, Portugal and Spain," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  11. Estela Sáenz Rodríguez & Marcela Sabaté Sort & Mª. Dolores Gadea Rivas, 2011. "¿Condiciona la apertura exterior el tamaño del sector público? Un panorama," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 198(3), pages 131-149, September.
  12. Genschel, Philipp, 2003. "Die Globalisierung und der Wohlfahrtsstaat: Ein Literaturrückblick," MPIfG Working Paper 03/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  13. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-34 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Alonso, Sonia & Ruiz, Rubén, 2005. "Political representation and ethnic conflict in new democracies," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Democracy and Democratization SP IV 2005-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  15. Mayntz, Renate (ed.), 2002. "Akteure – Mechanismen – Modelle: Zur Theoriefähigkeit makro-sozialer Analysen," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 42, number 42.
  16. Peter Schwarz, 2007. "Does capital mobility reduce the corporate-labor tax ratio?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 363-380, March.
  17. Kessler, Johannes, 2007. "Globalisierung oder Integration. Korrespondenzprobleme bei der empirischen Erfassung von Globalisierungsprozessen," TranState Working Papers 53, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  18. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Political Effects on the Allocation of Public Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 653, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  19. Federico Podestà, 2006. "Comparing Time Series Cross-Section Model Specifications: The Case of Welfare State Development," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 539-559, 08.
  20. Francesca Gastaldi & Paolo Liberati, 2011. "Economic integration and government size: a review of the empirical literature," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 35(3), pages 327-384.
  21. Gemmell, Norman & Kneller, Richard & Sanz, Ismael, 2008. "Foreign investment, international trade and the size and structure of public expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 151-171, March.


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