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Is Gerontocracy Harmful for Growth? A Comparative Study of Seven European Countries

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Abstract

We study the relationship between gerontocracy and aggregate economic performance in a simple model where growth is driven by human capital accumulation and productive government spending. We show that less patient lites display the tendency to underinvest in public education and productive government services, and thus are harmful for growth. The damage caused by gerontocracy is mainly due to the lack of long-term delayed return on investments, originated by the lower subjective discount factor. An empirical analysis using public investment in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is carried out to test theoretical predictions across different countries and different economic sectors. The econometric results confirm our main hypotheses.

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  • Vincenzo Atella & Lorenzo Carbonari, 2013. "Is Gerontocracy Harmful for Growth? A Comparative Study of Seven European Countries," CEIS Research Paper 263, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 May 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:263
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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Carbonari & Vincenzo Atella & Paola Samà, 2018. "Hours worked in selected OECD countries: an empirical assessment," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 525-545, July.
    2. François, Abel & Panel, Sophie & Weill, Laurent, 2020. "Educated dictators attract more foreign direct investment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-55.
    3. Julieta Peveri, 2021. "The Wise, the Politician and the Strongman: National Leaders' Type and Quality of Governance," Working Papers halshs-03173020, HAL.
    4. Julieta Peveri, 2021. "The Wise, the Politician and the Strongman: National Leaders' Type and Quality of Governance," AMSE Working Papers 2120, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France, revised May 2022.
    5. Abel FRANCOIS & Sophie PANEL & Laurent WEILL, 2018. "Are Some Dictators More Attractive to Foreign Investors?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2018-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    6. Anna Abalkina & Alexander Libman, 2020. "The real costs of plagiarism: Russian governors, plagiarized PhD theses, and infrastructure in Russian regions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(3), pages 2793-2820, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gerontocracy; Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity; Education; ICT.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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