Risk, utility-enhancing government expenditure, and the world economy
This paper analyzes the influence of risk and the expenditure policy of the public sector in a two-country stochastic AK growth model where public spending is utility-enhancing. Having characterized the macroeconomic equilibrium first we study the impact of risk and the public sector on consumption-wealth ratio, growth and welfare, given the exogenous size of the public sector. A higher weight of public consumption in the utility function raises the rate of growth due to a fall in the consumption-wealth ratio. Then we show that consumptionwealth ratio and welfare are higher in an open economy than in a closed economy and we study whether open economies grow more than closed economies. Next, the welfare-maximizing size of the public sector is derived and compared it to the size that maximizes growth. We analyze the impact of exogenous parameters, risk specially, on the optimal size. Then we establish that a higher weight of public consumption in the utility function reduces private consumption-wealth ratio leaving the rate of growth unchanged when the size of the public sector is optimally chosen. Finally, we show that more open economies should have a higher size of the public sector under more general conditions than those established in Turnovsky (1999).
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