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Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries

  • Fölster, Stefan

    ()

    (The Swedish Research Institute of Trade)

  • Henrekson, Magnus

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

A number of cross-country comparisons do not find a robust negative relationship between government size and economic growth. In part this may reflect the prediction in economic theory that a negative relationship should exist primarily for rich countries with large public sectors. In this paper an econometric panel study is conducted on a sample of rich countries covering the 1970-95 period. Extended extreme bounds analyses are reported based on a regression model that tackles a number of econometric issues. Our general finding is that the more econometric problems are addressed, the more robust the relationship between government size and economic growth appears. Our most complete specifications are robust even according to the stringent extreme bounds criterion.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 391.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review, 2001, pages 1501-1520.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0391
Note: Published in the European Economic Review, 2001
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
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  1. Fölster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 1997. "Growth and the Public Sector: A Critique of the Critics," Working Paper Series 492, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 10 Jun 1998.
  2. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," UCLA Economics Working Papers 239, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hansson, Par & Henrekson, Magnus, 1994. " A New Framework for Testing the Effect of Government Spending on Growth and Productivity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 381-401, December.
  7. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. de la Fuente, Angel, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Growth in the OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 1755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  11. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Skinner, 1992. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Joel Slemrod, 1995. "Involvement, Prosperity, and Economic Growth?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 373-431.
  13. Ohlsson, H. & Agell, J. & Lindh, T., 1995. "Growth and the Public Sector: A Critical Review Essay," Papers 1995-09, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  15. Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I Just Ran Four Million Regressions," NBER Working Papers 6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Asea, Patrick & Mendoza, Enrique G & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1996. "On the Ineffectiveness of Tax Policy in Altering Long- Run Growth: Harberger's Superneutrality Conjecture," CEPR Discussion Papers 1378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Cross-sectional regressions and the empirics of economic growth," Economics Working Papers 79, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
  19. Vito Tanzi & Howell H. Zee, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Long-Run Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 179-209, June.
  20. A. W. Coats, 1995. "Comment," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 157-161, Supplemen.
  21. de la Fuente, A., 1997. "Fiscal policy and Growth in The OECD. Volume II: Appendix," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 401.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  22. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1995. "The Welfare State and Economic Performance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 171-98, June.
  23. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  24. Plosser, Charles I., 1992. "The search for growth," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 57-86.
  25. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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