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How reliable is pooled analysis in political economy? The globalization welfare state nexus revisited

  • Kittel, Bernhard
  • Winner, Hannes

Panel data analysis has become very popular in comparative political economy. However, in order to draw meaningful inferences from such data, one has to address specification and estimation issues carefully. This paper aims to demonstrate various pitfalls that typically occur in applied empirical work. To illustrate this, we refer to the debate on the globalization-welfare state nexus. We reexamine a model by Garrett and Mitchell (2001), a leading study in this regard. Utilizing a data set of 17 OECD countries and the time period 1961 to 1993, they find evidence that globalization and partisan composition have a significant im-pact on the extent of public activity. However, because they apply a dynamic specification in levels, they do not adequately take into account both the dynamic and spherical nature of the data. In contrast, we propose an autoregressive model in first differences that is shown to perform well in statistical terms. Further, we explicitly pay attention to the time pattern of the globalization-welfare state nexus. Substantively, we find evidence that government spending is primarily driven by the state of the domestic economy. Neither partisan effects nor the international economic environment have affected public expenditure considerably.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 02/3.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:023
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  1. Nathaniel Beck, Jonathan N. Katz, 2004. "Random Coefficient models for time-series-cross-section data," Working Papers 1205, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 2001. "Confidence intervals for autoregressive coefficients near one," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1-2), pages 155-181, July.
  3. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kittel, Bernhard & Obinger, Herbert, 2002. "Political parties, institutions, and the dynamics of social expenditure in times of austerity," MPIfG Discussion Paper 02/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  5. Günther G. Schulze & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1999. "Globalisation of the Economy and the Nation State," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 295-352, 05.
  6. Chihwa Kao & Min-Hsien Chiang, 1999. "On the Estimation and Inference of a Cointegrated Regression in Panel Data," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 2, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  7. Beck, Nathaniel & Katz, Jonathan N., 2001. "Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water: A Comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 487-495, March.
  8. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  9. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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