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Risk, utility-enhancing government expenditure, and the world economy

  • Inaki Erauskin-Iurrita

    (University of Deusto San Sebastian)

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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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0412002.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 09 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0412002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
  3. Sala-I-Martin, X. & Barro, R.J., 1991. "Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth," Papers 640, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Understanding Risk and Return," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1711, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan, 1981. "Fiscal Policy, Inflation and the Accumulation of Risky Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 435-45, July.
  6. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  7. Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1997. "A portfolio approach to endogenous growth: equilibrium and optimal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1627-1644, August.
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