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Is gerontocracy harmful for growth? A comparative study of seven European countries

Listed author(s):
  • Vincenzo Atella

    (Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”)

  • Lorenzo Carbonari

    (Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”)

We study the relationship between gerontocracy and aggregate economic performance in a simple model where growth is driven by human capital accumulation and productive government spending. We show that less patient élites display the tendency to underinvest in public education and productive government services, and thus are harmful for growth. The damage caused by gerontocracy is mainly due to the lack of long-term delayed return on investments, originated by the lower subjective discount factor. An empirical analysis using public investment in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is carried out to test theoretical predictions across different countries and different economic sectors. The econometric results confirm our main hypotheses.

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Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2017)
Issue (Month): (May)
Pages: 141-168

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Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:20:y:2017:n:1:p:141-168
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