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Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation

  • William Easterly
  • Sergio Rebelo

This paper describes the empirical regularities relating fiscal policy variables, the level of development and the rate of growth. We employ historical data, recent cross-section data, and newly constructed public investment series. Our main findings are: (i) there is a strong association between the development level and the fiscal structure: poor countries rely heavily on international trade taxes, while income taxes are only important in developed economies; (ii) fiscal policy is influenced by the scale of the economy, measured by its population; (iii) investment in transport and communication is consistently correlated with growth while the effects of taxation are difficult to isolate empirically.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4499.

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Date of creation: Oct 1993
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December 1993
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4499
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  19. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 26, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  20. Koester, Reinhard B & Kormendi, Roger C, 1989. "Taxation, Aggregate Activity and Economic Growth: Cross-Country Evidence on Some Supply-Side Hypotheses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(3), pages 367-86, July.
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  23. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Marginal income tax rates and economic growth in developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 409-417, April.
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