The welfare state and Baumol’s law
The paper considers a two-sector economy with a constant population: The public sector, with stable productivity, and a private sector, with productivity growth. Baumol’s law says that such an economy has no steady state. It is demonstrated what this means. Two attempts to uphold a policy that fixes a key ratio are discussed: One policy fixes the tax share - this causes the share of the real public sector to vanish. The other policy fixes the share of real public production - this causes the tax pressure to keep rising.
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