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Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth

  • Barro, Robert J.

One strand of endogenous-growth models assumes constant returns to a broad concept of capital. I extend these models to include tax- financed government services that affect production or utility. Growth and saving rates fall with an increase in utility-type expenditures; the two rates rise initially with productive government expenditures but subsequently decline. With an income tax, the decentralized choices of growth and saving are "too low," but if the production function is Cobb-Douglas, the optimizing government still satisfies a natural condition for productive efficiency. Empirical evidence across countries supports some of the hypotheses about government and growth.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3451296/Barro_GovernmentSpending.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3451296.

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Date of creation: 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3451296
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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. David Aschauer, 1988. "Is public expenditure productive?," Staff Memoranda 88-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  5. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  8. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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