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Explaining Italy's economic growth: A balance-of-payments approach with internal and external imbalances and non-neutral relative prices

Author

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  • Soukiazis, Elias
  • Cerqueira, Pedro André
  • Antunes, Micaela

Abstract

Thirlwall's Law (Thirlwall, 1979) 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 emerging from budget deficits or public debt can also constrain growth. The recent European public debt crisis of peripheral countries (including Italy) shows that when internal imbalances are out of control they can constrain growth and domestic demand in a severe way. Recently, Soukiazis et al. (2013) developed a model – henceforth the SCA model – that takes into account both internal and external imbalances and where relative prices are not neutral in the pace of economic growth. The SCA model proved to be accurate in explaining economic growth in Portugal. The aim of the present paper is to apply the SCA model to Italy and check its precision for explaining the growth path in this country. Italy is an interesting case study of a larger economy with a lack of growth in the last decade facing serious internal imbalances caused by high deficit and public debt. Our empirical analysis shows that Italy grew at a slower rate than its potential capacity due to supply constraints. Policies designed at increasing external competitiveness and lowering the costs of financing the economy are shown to be effective strategies to achieve higher growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Soukiazis, Elias & Cerqueira, Pedro André & Antunes, Micaela, 2014. "Explaining Italy's economic growth: A balance-of-payments approach with internal and external imbalances and non-neutral relative prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 334-341.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:334-341
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2014.04.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roberto Perotti, 2012. "The "Austerity Myth": Gain without Pain?," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 307-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2005. "Italy's Decline: Getting the Facts Right," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 64(4), pages 365-410, December.
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    5. Roberto Perotti, 2011. "The "Austerity Myth": Gain without Pain?," Working Papers 430, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    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. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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. Nishi, Hiroshi, 2018. "Balance-of-payments-constrained Cyclical Growth with Distributive Class Conflicts and Productivity Dynamics," MPRA Paper 86780, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:gei:jnlfer:v:2:y:2017:i:1:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bruno Pellegrino & Luigi Zingales, 2017. "Diagnosing the Italian Disease," NBER Working Papers 23964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Soukiazis, Soukiazis & Antunes, Micaela & Stoian, Andreea, 2015. "The effects of internal and external imbalances on Romanian’s economic growth," MPRA Paper 63558, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:seb:journl:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:147-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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; Price and income elasticities of external trade; Equilibrium growth rates; 3SLS system regressions; Supply constraints;

    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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