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Modelling economic growth with internal and external imbalances: Empirical evidence from Portugal

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  • Soukiazis, Elias
  • Cerqueira, Pedro A.
  • Antunes, Micaela

Abstract

Thirlwall's Law considers that growth can be constrained by the balance-of-payments when the current account is in permanent deficit. The Law focuses on external imbalances as impediments to growth and does not consider the case where internal imbalances (budget deficits or public debt) can also constrain growth. The recent European public debt crisis shows that when internal imbalances are out of control they can constrain growth and domestic demand in a severe way. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap by developing a growth model in line with Thirlwall's Law that takes into account both internal and external imbalances. The model is tested for Portugal which recently fell into a public debt crisis with serious negative consequences on growth. The empirical analysis shows that the growth rate in Portugal is in fact balance-of-payments constrained and the main drawback is the high import elasticity of the components of demand and in particular that of exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Soukiazis, Elias & Cerqueira, Pedro A. & Antunes, Micaela, 2012. "Modelling economic growth with internal and external imbalances: Empirical evidence from Portugal," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 478-486.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:478-486
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2011.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Micaela Antunes & Elias Soukiazis, 2009. "How well the balance-of- payments constraint approach explains the Portuguese growth performance: empirical evidence for the 1965-2008 period," GEMF Working Papers 2009-13, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    2. Nelson H. Barbosa-Filho, 2001. "The balance-of-payments constraint:from balanced trade to sustainable debt," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(219), pages 381-400.
    3. Theodore Pelagidis & Evangelia Desli, 2004. "Deficits, growth, and the current slowdown: what role for fiscal policy?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 461-469.
    4. Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, 2003. "Capital Flows, Interest Payments and the Balance-of-Payments Constrained Growth Model: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 346-365, May.
    5. Thirlwall, Anthony P & Hussain, Mohammed Nureldin, 1982. "The Balance of Payments Constraint, Capital Flows and Growth Rate Differences between Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 498-510, November.
    6. Anthony P. Thirlwall, 2011. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 64(259), pages 429-438.
    7. Robert A. Blecker, 2009. "Long-Run Growth in Open Economies: Export-Led Cumulative Causation or a Balance-of-Payments Constraint?," Working Papers 2009-23, American University, Department of Economics.
    8. Carlos Garcimartín & Luis A. Rivas & Pilar García Martínez, 2010. "On the role of relative prices and capital flows in balance-of-payments-constrained growth: the experiences of Portugal and Spain in the euro area," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 281-306, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marwil J. Dávila-Fernández & Serena Sordi, 2017. "Distributive cycles and endogenous technical change in a BoPC growth model," Department of Economics University of Siena 760, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Elias Soukiazis & Pedre André Cerqueira & Micaela Antunes, 2013. "The Effects of Internal and External Imbalances on Italy´s Economic Growth. A Balance of Payments Approach with Relative Prices No Neutral," GEMF Working Papers 2013-14, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    3. Elias Soukiazis & Pedro Cerqueira & Micaela Antunes, 2013. "Growth rates constrained by internal and external imbalances and the role of relative prices: empirical evidence from Portugal," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 275-298.
    4. Elias Soukiazis & Pedro Cerqueira & Micaela Antunes, 2012. "Causes of the Decline of Economic Growth in Italy and the Responsibility of EURO. A Balance-of-Payments Approach," GEMF Working Papers 2012-03, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    5. Elias Soukiazis & Micaela Antunes & Pedro André Cerqueira, 2017. "Growth adjustments through non-price competitiveness and productivity. A cumulative causation approach," CeBER Working Papers 2017-01, Centre for Business and Economics Research (CeBER), University of Coimbra.
    6. Garcimartin, Carlos & Kvedaras, Virmantas & Rivas, Luis, 2016. "Business cycles in a balance-of-payments constrained growth framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 120-132.
    7. Elias Soukiazis & Micaela Antunes & Ioannis Kostakis, 2016. "The Greek economy under the twin-deficit pressure: a demand orientated growth approach," GEMF Working Papers 2016-08, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    8. repec:seb:journl:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:147-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sáez, Antonio José & Prieto, Faustino & Sarabia, José María, 2012. "A two-tail version of the PPS distribution with application to current account balance data," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(21), pages 5160-5171.
    10. Torój, Andrzej, 2017. "Managing external macroeconomic imbalances in the EU: the welfare cost of scoreboard-based constraints," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 293-311.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal and external imbalances; Import elasticities of the components of demand; Equilibrium growth rates; 3SLS system regressions;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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