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Wagner and the fading voracity effect: short vs. long-run effects in developing countries

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  • João Tovar Jalles

    () (University of Lisbon)

Abstract

This paper empirically revisits the validity of Wagner’s proposition in a panel of 149 developing countries between 1980-2015 by focusing on different components of government expenditure. We rely on an ARDL approach which allow us to uncover short and long-run cyclicality coefficients. Our results do not overwhelmingly support the existence of higher than unity longrun elasticities of government spending components vis-a-vis economic growth, suggesting that the Wagner’s regularity is more the exception than the norm. Moreover, the case for voracity is fading away as developing countries catch-up the development ladder and graduate from procyclicality. In fact, most short-run elasticities are countercyclical. Finally, some macroeconomic and institutional and political characteristics affect the degree of government spending cyclicality.

Suggested Citation

  • João Tovar Jalles, 2019. "Wagner and the fading voracity effect: short vs. long-run effects in developing countries," Review of Development Finance Journal, Chartered Institute of Development Finance, vol. 9(1), pages 51-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:afj:journ3:v:9:y:2019:i:1:p:51-78
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abbott, Andrew & Cabral, René & Jones, Philip & Palacios, Roberto, 2015. "Political pressure and procyclical expenditure: An analysis of the expenditures of state governments in Mexico," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 195-206.
    2. Akitoby, Bernardin & Clements, Benedict & Gupta, Sanjeev & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2006. "Public spending, voracity, and Wagner's law in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 908-924, December.
    3. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
    4. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. "A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
    5. Banerjee, Anindya, 1999. "Panel Data Unit Roots and Cointegration: An Overview," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 607-629, Special I.
    6. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government expenditure; fiscal policy; government size; political economy; mean group; panel stationarity; crosssectional dependency; weighted least squares; autoregressive distributed lag;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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