Government expenditure on public order and safety, economic growth and private investment: Empirical evidence from the United States
The analysis begins by using annual data for the US from 1959 to 2003 to examine the macroeconomic relationship between government expenditure on public order and safety, output and investment. In practice, total spending on public order and safety is divided up into four categories (police force, fire service, law courts and prison service) so in the second part of the analysis we test for Granger causality between output, investment and each category of spending. But the division of aggregate spending may give rise to trade-offs/complementarities so in the final part of the analysis Granger causality tests are used to investigate this issue. Among other things, the results suggest that changes in output Granger cause changes in total spending on public order and safety. In particular, when total spending is disaggregated the findings suggest that changes in output Granger cause changes in spending on the police force and the law courts.
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