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Expansionary Effects of the Welfare State in a Small Open Economy

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  • Hassan Molana
  • Catia Montagna

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Abstract

We examine the relationship between welfare state policies and economic performance in a small open economy with (i) free trade in final goods and international capital mobility, and (ii) aggregate increasing returns to scale. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, we find that a retrenchment of welfare programmes is not an inevitable consequence of economic integration. Instead, by improving the exploitation of aggregate scale economies, social expenditure policies and international openness complement each other in facilitating an improvement in economic performance that can sustain a more generous welfare protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan Molana & Catia Montagna, 2005. " Expansionary Effects of the Welfare State in a Small Open Economy," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0505, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:san:cdmacp:0505
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    File URL: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/CDMA/papers/cp0505.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia, 2006. "Aggregate scale economies, market integration, and optimal welfare state policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 321-340, July.
    2. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2003. "Do Social Policies Harm Employment and Growth?," CESifo Working Paper Series 886, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1992. "External effects in U.S. procyclical productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 209-225, April.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-939, December.
    5. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
    6. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
    8. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "The division of labor and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-32, April.
    9. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Coordination failures and government policy: A model with applications to East Asia and Eastern Europe," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
    10. Devereux, Michael B & Head, Allen C & Lapham, Beverly J, 2000. " Government Spending and Welfare with Returns to Specialization," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 547-561, December.
    11. Venables, Anthony J., 1996. "Trade policy, cumulative causation, and industrial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 179-197, April.
    12. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-1084, September.
    14. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torben Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2011. "Globalisation squeezes the public sector—is it so obvious?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(4), pages 369-382, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare state; circular causation; international trade; capital mobility.;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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