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Economic growth and welfare state: a debate of econometrics

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  • DING, HONG

Abstract

This study uses a two-way fixed effect model for panel data of all OECD nations, which includes most of the determinants of growth in previous empirical growth studies for either cross section or panel data as control variables and carefully checks possible endogeneity of the key variables of interest: welfare measures by Durbin-Wu-Hausman test. The empirical analysis shows a robust negative correlation between welfare spending rate, tax-to-GDP ratio and GDP growth. In particular, the estimates suggest that a 1% increase in welfare spending as percentage of GDP would increase the per capita GDP growth rate by 0.19%. Among three biggest components of welfare expenditure, pension spending is identified as the most important source of detrimental effect on growth while income support and public health expenditure are found to have no significant impact on growth. I also find that a 1% increase in tax revenue-to-GDP ratio would increase the per capita GDP growth rate by 0.18%. Since this estimate is close to that of welfare spending rate and welfare spending is only part of tax revenue used by government, it implies that decreasing welfare expenditure is more important and more effective for promoting growth than cutting tax. All results are subject to robustness checks including unit root test for panel data, slope poolability test, dependent variable persistence test, informal check of IV exogeneity and serial correlation test.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Hong, 2012. "Economic growth and welfare state: a debate of econometrics," MPRA Paper 39685, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39685
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mike Pennock, 2016. "Slower Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being in the Canadian Context: A Discussion Paper," CSLS Research Reports 2016-09, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    2. João Sousa Andrade & Marta Simões & Adelaide Duarte, 2013. "Despesa Pública em Educação e Saúde e Crescimento Económico: Um Contributo para o Debate sobre as Funções Sociais do Estado," GEMF Working Papers 2013-18, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    welfare state; economic growth; endogeneity; Durbin-wu-hausman test;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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