The Politics of Endogenous Growth
Is it politically feasible for governments to engineer endogenous growth? This paper illustrates two reasonable political decision mechanisms by which fiscal policy generates endogenous growth with a single accumulable factor, and a constant returns to scale production technology without production externalities. In the first mechanism, policies are chosen by the government to maximize constituent support by raising aggregate income. In the second mechanism, policies are determined in a voting equilibrium where agents are concerned only with their own incomes. We demonstrate that policies that target aggregates generate balanced growth and are Pareto optimal. Policies chosen by the median voter also produce balanced growth, but result in public investment 50 percent below the socially optimal level. However, we identify a plausible restriction under which median voting replicates the socially optimal level. This shows that both mechanisms are linked through their effects on asset distribution.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
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