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Is Gerontocracy Harmful for Growth? a Comparative Study of Seven European Countries

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  • Vincenzo Atella
  • Lorenzo Carbonari

Abstract

We study the relationship between gerontocracy and aggregate economic performance in a simple model where growth is driven by human capital accumulation and productive government spending. We show that less patient élites display the tendency to underinvest in public education and productive government services, and thus are harmful for growth. The damage caused by gerontocracy is mainly due to the lack of long-term delayed return on investments, originated by the lower subjective discount factor. An empirical analysis using public investment in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is carried out to test theoretical predictions across different countries and different economic sectors. The econometric results confirm our main hypotheses.

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  • Vincenzo Atella & Lorenzo Carbonari, 2017. "Is Gerontocracy Harmful for Growth? a Comparative Study of Seven European Countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 141-168, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:recsxx:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:141-168
    DOI: 10.1016/S1514-0326(17)30007-7
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    5. Julieta Peveri, 2021. "The Wise, the Politician and the Strongman: National Leaders' Type and Quality of Governance," Working Papers halshs-03173020, HAL.
    6. Anna Abalkina & Alexander Libman, 2020. "The real costs of plagiarism: Russian governors, plagiarized PhD theses, and infrastructure in Russian regions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(3), pages 2793-2820, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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