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Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation

  • Easterly, William
  • Rebelo, Sergio

This paper describes the empirical regularities relating fiscal policy variables, the level of development and the rate of growth. We employ historical data, recent cross-section data, and newly constructed public investment series. Our main findings are: first, there is a strong association between the development level and the fiscal structure: poor countries rely heavily on international trade taxes, while income taxes are only important in developed economies; second, fiscal policy is influenced by the scale of the economy, measured by its population; and third, investment in transport and communication is consistently correlated with growth while the effects of taxation are difficult to isolate empirically.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 417-458

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:32:y:1993:i:3:p:417-458
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  3. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Transitional Dynamics And Economic Growth In The Neoclassical Model," RCER Working Papers 206, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  8. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  9. Alogoskoufis, G. & Van Der Ploeg, F., 1990. "Endogenous Growth And Overlapping Generations," Papers 9072, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  10. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
  11. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  12. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 1060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  14. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Marginal income tax rates and economic growth in developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 409-417, April.
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  16. Sicat, Gerardo P & Virmani, Arvind, 1988. "Personal Income Taxes in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 123-38, January.
  17. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  19. Plosser, Charles I., 1992. "The search for growth," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 57-86.
  20. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  21. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  22. Cohen Daniel & Michel Philippe, 1991. "Property rights on foreign capital and long-run growth," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9106, CEPREMAP.
  23. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1992. "Public-Sector Capital and the Productivity Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Peter Pedroni & David Canning, 2004. "The Effect of Infrastructure on Long Run Economic Growth," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  26. Koester, Reinhard B & Kormendi, Roger C, 1989. "Taxation, Aggregate Activity and Economic Growth: Cross-Country Evidence on Some Supply-Side Hypotheses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(3), pages 367-86, July.
  27. Dunn, D. & Pellechio, A., 1990. "Analyzing Taxes On Business Income With The Marginal Effective Tax Rate Model," World Bank - Discussion Papers 79, World Bank.
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