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The Effect of Government Size on the Steady-State Unemployment Rate: A Dynamic Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Siyan Wang

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

  • Burton A. Abrams

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

The relationship between government size and the unemployment rate is investigated using a panel error-correction model that describes both the short-run dynamics and long-run determination of the unemployment rate. Using data from twenty OECD countries from 1970 to 1999 and after correcting for simultaneity bias, we find that government size, measured as total government outlays as a percentage of GDP, plays a significant role in affecting the steady-state unemployment rate. Importantly, when government outlays are disaggregated, transfers and subsidies are found to significantly affect the steady-state unemployment rate while government purchases of goods and services play no significant role.

Suggested Citation

  • Siyan Wang & Burton A. Abrams, 2011. "The Effect of Government Size on the Steady-State Unemployment Rate: A Dynamic Perspective," Working Papers 11-12, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:11-12.
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    File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2011/UDWP2011-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
    2. Burton A. Abrams & Siyan Wang, 2007. "Government Outlays, Economic Growth and Unemployment: A VAR Model," Working Papers 07-13, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    3. Karras, Georgios, 1993. "Employment and Output Effects of Government Spending: Is Government Size Important?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 354-369, July.
    4. Agell, Jonas & Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1997. "Growth and the public sector: A critical review essay," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 33-52, February.
    5. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    6. Dimitris Christopoulos & Efthymios Tsionas, 2002. "Unemployment and government size: Is there any credible causality?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(12), pages 797-800.
    7. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 109-154, August.
    8. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, January.
    9. Dimitris Christopoulos & John Loizides & Efthymios Tsionas, 2005. "The Abrams curve of government size and unemployment: evidence from panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(10), pages 1193-1199.
    10. Horst Feldmann, 2006. "Government Size and Unemployment: Evidence from Industrial Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 443-459, June.
    11. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
    12. Abrams, Burton A, 1999. "The Effect of Government Size on the Unemployment Rate," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 395-401, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. António Afonso & Huseyin Sen & Ayse Kaya, 2018. "Government Size, Unemployment, and Inflation Nexus in Eight Large Emerging Market Economies," Working Papers REM 2018/38, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    2. Burton A. Abrams & Siyan Wang, 2007. "Government Outlays, Economic Growth and Unemployment: A VAR Model," Working Papers 07-13, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Steady-State Unemployment Rate; Government Size; Error Correction Model; Dynamic Panel Data Model; Arellano-Bond Estimator;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H19 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Other
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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