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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4499.pdf
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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
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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
Note: EFG
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  1. Alogoskoufis, G. & Van Der Ploeg, F., 1990. "Endogenous Growth And Overlapping Generations," Papers 9072, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Clarke, George R. G., 1992. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1064, The World Bank.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  4. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  7. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  8. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  9. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1992. "Marginal income tax rates and economic growth in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1050, The World Bank.
  10. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Peter Pedroni & David Canning, 2004. "The Effect of Infrastructure on Long Run Economic Growth," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  13. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Transitional Dynamics And Economic Growth In The Neoclassical Model," RCER Working Papers 206, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  15. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  16. Barro, Robert J & Sahasakul, Chaipat, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 419-52, October.
  17. Cohen Daniel & Michel Philippe, 1991. "Property rights on foreign capital and long-run growth," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9106, CEPREMAP.
  18. 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.
  19. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  20. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  21. Sicat, Gerardo P & Virmani, Arvind, 1988. "Personal Income Taxes in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 123-38, January.
  22. repec:fth:wobaco:1083 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
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  26. Plosser, Charles I., 1992. "The search for growth," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 57-86.
  27. Dunn, D. & Pellechio, A., 1990. "Analyzing Taxes On Business Income With The Marginal Effective Tax Rate Model," World Bank - Discussion Papers 79, World Bank.
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