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

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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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    Cited by:

    1. Hiroshi Nishi, 2019. "Balance‐of‐payments‐constrained cyclical growth with distributive class conflicts and productivity dynamics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 620-640, November.
    2. Dávila-Fernández, Marwil J. & Sordi, Serena, 2019. "Distributive cycles and endogenous technical change in a BoPC growth model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 216-233.
    3. Marwil J. Dávila-Fernández, 2018. "Alternative Approaches to Technological Change when Growth is BoPC," Department of Economics University of Siena 795, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    4. Elias Soukiazis & Micaela Antunes & Ioannis Kostakis, 2018. "The Greek economy under the twin-deficit pressure: a demand orientated growth approach," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 215-236, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Oguzhan Ozcelebi & Nurtac Yildirim, 2017. "Interrelations Between External and Internal Macroeconomic Factors: Empirical Evidence on Some OECD Countries," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 15(2), pages 147-174.
    7. Dávila-Fernández, Marwil J. & Sordi, Serena, 2019. "Path dependence, distributive cycles and export capacity in a BoPC growth model," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 258-272.
    8. Kvedaras, Virmantas & Garcimartín, Carlos & Astudillo, Jhonatan, 2020. "Balance-of-Payments constrained growth dynamics: An empirical investigation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 232-244.
    9. Irfan Civcir & M. Emir Yücel, 2020. "Effects of Internal and External Imbalances and the Role of Relative Prices on Economic Growth: Evidence From Turkey," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(2), pages 21582440209, June.
    10. Mohammed Al- Mahish, 2017. "Does Balance of Payments Constrained Growth Model Hold in Saudi Arabia?," Journal of Finance and Economics Research, Geist Science, Iqra University, Faculty of Business Administration, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, March.
    11. Bruno Pellegrino & Luigi Zingales, 2017. "Diagnosing the Italian Disease," NBER Working Papers 23964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Yohanna Panshak & Irfan Civcir & Hüseyin Ozdeser, 2019. "Technology Gap and the Role of National Innovation System in a Balance of Payments Constrained Growth Model: Empirical Evidence From Nigeria," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(1), pages 21582440198, February.
    13. Deimante Blavasciunaite & Lina Garsviene & Kristina Matuzeviciute, 2020. "Trade Balance Effects on Economic Growth: Evidence from European Union Countries," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-15, July.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal and external imbalances; Price and income elasticities of external trade; Equilibrium growth rates; 3SLS system regressions; Supply constraints;
    All these keywords.

    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; Modern Monetary Theory
    • 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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