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The evolution and convergence of the government expenditure composition in the OECD countries: an analysis of the functional distribution

  • Ismael Sanz

    (Group of European Economy-UCM & FUNCAS)

  • Francisco J. Velázquez

    (Group of European Economy-UCM & FUNCAS)

The composition of the public expenditure affects the long-run growth rate (Barro, 1990, Devarajan, Swaroop and Zou, 1996). This paper has explored the existence of convergence in the structure of government expenditure by functions in the OECD countries for the period 1970-1998 and the perspectives of this process to persist in the future. The results obtained first through the similarity index and afterwards using the usual convergence indicators (ƒÒ, ƒã and ƒ×), adapted to the analysis of the breakdown of public expenditure, point out to the existence of a distribution approximation. Nevertheless, we have found that the majority of expenditures were near to the steady-state, which differs across countries. This reveals that there are some individual factors that impede the convergence to a single structure in the long run. This could be one of the explanations of the difference observed among economic growth rates in developed countries.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0111005.

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Date of creation: 05 Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0111005
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  1. Ohlsson, H. & Agell, J. & Lindh, T., 1995. "Growth and the Public Sector: A Critical Review Essay," Papers 1995-09, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  2. Agell, Jonas & Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1999. "Growth and the public sector: A reply," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 359-366, June.
  3. Angel de la Fuente, 2002. "Convergence across countries and regions: theory and empirics," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 555.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
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  6. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "Economic Growth and Convergence across The United States," NBER Working Papers 3419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
  8. Shantayanan Devarajan & Vinaya Swaroop & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," CEMA Working Papers 77, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  9. Gerry Boyle; & Thomas McCarthy, 1995. "A Simple Measure of Beta-Convergence," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n560495, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  10. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gerry Boyle; & Tom McCarthy, 1997. "Simple Measures of Convergence in Per Capita GDP: A Note on Some Further International Evidence," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n751197, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  13. G. E. Boyle & T. G. McCARTHY, 1999. "Simple measures of convergence in per capita GDP: a note on some further international evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(6), pages 343-347.
  14. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
  15. Massimo Florio, 2001. "On Cross-country Comparability of Government Statistics: Public expenditure trends in OECD National Accounts," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 181-198.
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