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Public Sector Centralization and Productivity Growth: Reviewing the German Experience

Author

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  • Stegarescu, Dan
  • Büttner, Thiess
  • Behnisch, Alexej

Abstract

The paper examines the role of the vertical structure of the public sector for economic growth in Germany in a long?term perspective. A theoretical model shows that, due to spillover effects of public service provision across lower level governments, federal government activities could have substantially contributed to productivity growth. A review of the German experience starting in the last quarter of the 19th century shows that the overall development is consistent with a stimulating role of the federal government in general and in specific areas like, for instance, transport and communication. However, a further empirical analysis of the period after World War II raises doubts about the efficiency of the vertical structure of the public sector with regard to productivity growth, since the results indicate that a smaller budget share of the state level would have benefited growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Stegarescu, Dan & Büttner, Thiess & Behnisch, Alexej, 2002. "Public Sector Centralization and Productivity Growth: Reviewing the German Experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:894
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24803/1/dp0203.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    2. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1999. "Notes on Growth Accounting," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-137, June.
    4. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    6. Xie, Danyang & Zou, Heng-fu & Davoodi, Hamid, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 228-239, March.
    7. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Heng-fu, Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 313-344, April.
    8. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lars P. Feld & Horst Zimmermann & Thomas Döring, 2004. "Federalism, Decentralization, and Economic Growth," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200430, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. repec:rom:mrpase:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:47-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald, 2008. "A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Efficiency: With Comments on Tax Devolution to Scotland," Working papers 2008-46, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    4. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Lars P. Feld & Jan Schnellenbach, 2016. "Fiscal Federalism, Decentralization, And Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1445-1463, July.
    5. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Lars P. Feld & Sarah Necker, 2017. "Depressing dependence? Transfers and economic growth in the German states, 1975–2005," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(12), pages 1815-1825, December.
    6. Stegarescu, Dan, 2004. "Public Sector Decentralization: Measurement Concepts and Recent International Trends," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-74, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Lars P. Feld & Horst Zimmermann & Thomas Döring, 2003. "Föderalismus, Dezentralität und Wirtschaftswachstum," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(3), pages 361-377.
    8. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Lars P. Feld & Jan Schnellenbach, 2014. "Fiscal Federalism, Decentralization and Economic Growth: Survey and Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4985, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Carlos Usabiaga & E. Macarena Hernández-Salmerón, 2016. "Regional Growth and Convergence in Spain: Is the Decentralization Model Important?," EcoMod2016 9358, EcoMod.
    10. Stegarescu, Dan, 2005. "Centralizing Tendencies in the Public Sector in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-46, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2004. "Fiscal Federalism and Economic Performance: Evidence from Swiss Cantons," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200420, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Bartolini, David & Ninka, Eniel & Santolini, Raffaella, 2017. "Tax Decentralisation, Labour productivity and Employment," MPRA Paper 81070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:743-760 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. ESTEBAN, Sonia & DE FRUTOS, Pablo & PRIETO; Maria Jose, 2008. "Fiscal Decentralization And Economic Growth. Empiric Evidence From A Regional Perspective," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 8(1), pages 29-58.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public sector centralization; public inputs; economic growth; fiscal federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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