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Structural changes, cointegration and the empirics of Thirlwall's law


  • Alberto Bagnai


Thirlwall's law establishes a relation between the long-run growth rate, the growth of exports and the long-run income elasticity of imports. The estimation of this parameter requires cointegration techniques, which in turn require a large span of data, thus exposing the estimates to risks of structural changes. While this problem has been recognized in the literature, the evidence produced is still partial, being concerned with a very limited number of countries, and in some respects unsatisfactory. In this article we fill this gap by assessing Thirlwall's empirical regularity on a sample of 22 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries using econometric techniques that allow for the presence of a shift of unknown date in the long-run parameters. The results are generally supportive of Thirlwall's hypothesis and allow us to reconcile and qualify the evidence provided in the existing literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Bagnai, 2010. "Structural changes, cointegration and the empirics of Thirlwall's law," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(10), pages 1315-1329.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:10:p:1315-1329
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701721299

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

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    1. Vincolo esterno e declino italiano (KPD10)
      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2015-06-14 02:06:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bagnai & Christian Alexander Mongeau Ospina, 2014. "The a/simmetrie annual macroeconometric model of the Italian economy: structure and properties," a/ Working Papers Series 1405, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    2. Matteo Lanzafame, 2014. "The balance of payments-constrained growth rate and the natural rate of growth: new empirical evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 817-838.
    3. Elias Soukiazis & Pedro Cerqueira & Micaela Antunes, 2012. "Causes of the Decline of Economic Growth in Italy and the Responsibility of EURO. A Balance-of-Payments Approach," GEMF Working Papers 2012-03, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    4. A. P. Thirlwall, 2013. "Economic Growth in an Open Developing Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15208.
    5. Gaetano Perone, 2017. "Produttività del lavoro, dinamica salariale e squilibri commerciali nei Paesi dell’Eurozona: un’analisi empirica," Working Papers 0028, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.
    6. 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.
    7. Anthony P. Thirlwall, 2011. "Balance of payments constrained growth models: history and overview," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 64(259), pages 307-351.
    8. Halicioglu, Ferda, 2012. "Balance-of-Payments Constrained Growth: the Case of Turkey," MPRA Paper 41791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Leon Podkaminer, 2017. "“Thirlwall’s Law” reconsidered," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 29-57, February.

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