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Growth and the Public Sector: a Reply

Author

Listed:
  • Agell, J.
  • Lindh, T.
  • Ohlsson, H.

Abstract

Fvlster and Henrekson (1998) claim that they, by addressing a number of econometric problems, can establish that it is likely that economies with a large public sector grow more slowly than economies with a small public sector. But their regressions are fundamentally flawed. Re-estimating their growth equation using theoretically valid instruments, we find that the growth effect of the public sector is statistically insignificant, and much smaller than the point-estimates reported by Fvlster and Henrekson. This is consistent with the agnostic conclusion, drawn by us and many others, that cross-country growth regressions are unlikely to give a reliable answer to whether a large public sector is growth promoting or retarding.

Suggested Citation

  • Agell, J. & Lindh, T. & Ohlsson, H., 1999. "Growth and the Public Sector: a Reply," Papers 1999:1, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:uppaal:1999:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Andres, Javier & Domenech, Rafael & Molinas, Cesar, 1996. "Macroeconomic performance and convergence in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1683-1704, December.
    3. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1995. "The Welfare State and Economic Performance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 171-98, June.
    4. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
    5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1995. "The Welfare State and Economic Performance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 171-198, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    PUBLIC EXPENDITURES ; PUBLIC SECTOR ; ECONOMIC GROWTH;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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