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Fiscal Policy and Economic Development

  • Alex Mourmouras
  • Peter Rangazas

This paper offers possible explanations for three generally observed facts about fiscal policy and development: (F1) The relative size of government increases as an economy develops, (F2) The rise in government and taxation are associated with rising or constant economic growth rates, and (F3) Today's developing countries have larger government sectors than did today's developed countries at similar stages of development. The explanations for these facts are based on the structural transformation from traditional (mostly agricultural) to modern (industrial and post-industrial) production, rising public infrastructure investment, and less representative governments in many of today's developing economies.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/155.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/155
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  1. Andrew Atkeson & V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
  2. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2006. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEP Discussion Papers dp0735, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  5. Schneider, Friedrich, 2004. "The Size of the Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: First Results over the Period 1999 to 2003," IZA Discussion Papers 1431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
  7. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  8. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Alston, Lee J. & Hatton, T. J., 1991. "The Earnings Gap Between Agricultural and Manufacturing Laborers, 1925–1941," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 83-99, March.
  10. Lennart Erickson & Dietrich Vollrath, 2004. "Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 04/158, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  12. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
  13. Peltzman, Sam, 1980. "The Growth of Government," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 209-87, October.
  14. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  15. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  16. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and Great Divergence," Working Papers 2006-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  17. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  18. Richard H. Clarida, 1993. "International Capital Mobility, Public Investment and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Peter Rangazas, 2002. "The Quantity and Quality of Schooling and U.S. Labor Productivity Growth (1870-2000)," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 932-964, October.
  21. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  22. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy," NBER Working Papers 12081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. repec:dgr:rugggd:199415 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  25. Ananth Seshadri & Rodolfo Manuelli, 2005. "Human Capital and the Wealth of Nations," 2005 Meeting Papers 56, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
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