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Public Sector Centralization and Productivity Growth: Reviewing the German Experience

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  • Stegarescu, Dan
  • Büttner, Thiess
  • Behnisch, Alexej

Abstract

The paper examines the role of the vertical structure of the public sector for economic growth in Germany in a long?term perspective. A theoretical model shows that, due to spillover effects of public service provision across lower level governments, federal government activities could have substantially contributed to productivity growth. A review of the German experience starting in the last quarter of the 19th century shows that the overall development is consistent with a stimulating role of the federal government in general and in specific areas like, for instance, transport and communication. However, a further empirical analysis of the period after World War II raises doubts about the efficiency of the vertical structure of the public sector with regard to productivity growth, since the results indicate that a smaller budget share of the state level would have benefited growth. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 02-03.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:894

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Keywords: Public sector centralization; public inputs; economic growth; fiscal federalism;

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References

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  1. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  4. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, November.
  6. Xie, Danyang & Zou, Heng-fu & Davoodi, Hamid, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 228-239, March.
  7. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Heng-fu, Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 313-344, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald, 2008. "A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Efficiency: With Comments on Tax Devolution to Scotland," Working papers 2008-46, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. ESTEBAN, Sonia & DE FRUTOS, Pablo & PRIETO; Maria Jose, 2008. "Fiscal Decentralization And Economic Growth. Empiric Evidence From A Regional Perspective," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 8(1), pages 29-58.
  3. Lars P. Feld & Horst Zimmermann & Thomas Döring, 2004. "Federalism, Decentralization, and Economic Growth," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200430, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  4. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2004. "Fiscal Federalism and Economic Performance: Evidence from Swiss Cantons," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200420, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. Stegarescu, Dan, 2004. "Public Sector Decentralization: Measurement Concepts and Recent International Trends," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-74, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Stegarescu, Dan, 2005. "Centralizing Tendencies in the Public Sector in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-46, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Lars P. Feld & Horst Zimmermann & Thomas Döring, 2003. "Föderalismus, Dezentralität und Wirtschaftswachstum," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(3), pages 361-377.

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