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The Role of Omitted Variables in Identifying a Long-run Equilibrium Relationship for the Italian Government Growth


  • Gabriella Legrenzi


  • Costas Milas


We discuss the role of omitted variables in the long run empirical modeling of the Italian government growth based on a Wagner's Law framework. We identify a non-spurious long-run relationship between general government expenditure and domestic product only when our Wagner's Law model is enhanced by a measure of bureaucratic power, as a supply-side variable, and by the ratio of local to state expenditure, as an institutional factor that captures the division of competencies between local and central government in allocating public expenditure. This result is independent from the Wagner's Law specification chosen. The persistence profile analysis shows a slow adjustment to equilibrium for the estimated government growth relationship following system-wide shocks, pointing to rigidities and complex functioning of the public sector. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2002. "The Role of Omitted Variables in Identifying a Long-run Equilibrium Relationship for the Italian Government Growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 435-449, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:4:p:435-449
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1016568003489

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2006. "Asymmetric and Non-Linear Adjustments in Local Fiscal Policy," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/16, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
    2. Gabriella Deborah Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2010. "Spend-and-Tax Adjustments and the Sustainability of the Government's Intertemporal Budget Constraint," CESifo Working Paper Series 2926, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Semedo, Gervasio, 2007. "L’évolution des dépenses publiques en France : loi de Wagner, cycle électoral et contrainte européenne de subsidiarité," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 83(2), pages 123-162, juin.
    4. repec:eco:journ1:2017-04-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ludger Schuknecht & Holger Zemanek, 2018. "Social Dominance," Working Papers REM 2018/30, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.


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