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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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1016568003489
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 435-449

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:4:p:435-449
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  1. Pesaran, M.H. & Shin, Y., 1993. "Cointegration and Speed of Convergence to Equilibrium," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9311, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Gandhi, Ved P, 1971. "Wagner's Law of Public Expenditure: Do Recent Cross-Section Studies Confirm it?," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 26(1), pages 44-56.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, March.
  4. Peacock, Alan & Scott, Alex, 2000. " The Curious Attraction of Wagner's Law," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 1-17, January.
  5. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  6. Panayiotis C. Afxentiou & Apostolos Serletis, 1991. "A Time-Series Analysis of the Relationship Between Government Expenditure and Gdp in Canada," Public Finance Review, , vol. 19(3), pages 316-333, July.
  7. Schwartz, Gerd & Ter-Minassian, Teresa, 2000. " The Distributional Effects of Public Expenditure," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 337-58, July.
  8. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  9. MacKinnon, James G & Haug, Alfred A & Michelis, Leo, 1999. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 563-77, Sept.-Oct.
  10. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2002. "A Multivariate Approach to the Growth of Governments," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(1), pages 56-76, January.
  11. Payne, James E & Ewing, Bradley T, 1996. "International Evidence on Wagner's Hypothesis: A Cointegration Analysis," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 51(2), pages 258-74.
  12. Alan T. Peacock & Jack Wiseman, 1961. "The Growth of Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number peac61-1, June.
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