IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Openness, Government Size and the Terms of Trade

  • Paolo Epifani
  • Gino Gancia

This paper investigates the relationship between trade openness and the size of governments, both theoretically and empirically. We argue that openness can increase the size of governments through two channels: (1) a terms of trade externality, whereby trade lowers the domestic cost of taxation, and (2) the demand for insurance, whereby trade raises risk and public transfers. We provide a unified framework for studying and testing these two mechanisms. Our main theoretical prediction is that the relative strength of the two explanations depends on a key parameter, namely, the elasticity of substitution between domestic and foreign goods. Moreover, while the first mechanism is inefficient from the standpoint of world welfare, the second is instead optimal. In the empirical part of the paper, we provide new evidence on the positive association between openness and government size and we explore its determinants. Consistently with the terms of trade externality channel, we show that the correlation is contingent on a low elasticity of substitution between domestic and foreign goods. Our findings raise warnings that globalization may have led to inefficiently large governments.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp359.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 359.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:359
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich

Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "The World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 659-694.
  2. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1998. "Is there always too little research in endogenous growth with expanding product variety?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 61-69, January.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  4. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
  5. Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-586.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
  7. David M. G. Newbery & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "Pareto Inferior Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-12.
  8. Hassler, John & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2001. "The Survival of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Boadway, R. & Maital, S. & Prachowny, M., 1973. "Optimal tariffs, optimal taxes and public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 391-403.
  10. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1523-55, September.
  11. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
  12. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701.
  13. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
  15. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2005. "Openness, government size and the terms of trade," Economics Working Papers 915, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2008.
  16. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "Openness and the Sectoral Effects of Fiscal Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 395-403, 04-05.
  17. Garen, John & Trask, Kathleen, 2005. "Do more open economies have bigger governments? Another look," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 533-551, August.
  18. Limão, Nuno, 2005. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 4884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  21. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Seminar Papers 658, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  22. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Optimal fiscal policy in a monetary union," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 921-39, December.
  24. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1988. "The gains from fiscal cooperation in the two-commodity real trade model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 111-127, August.
  25. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  26. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "What Do Trade Negotiators Negotiate About? Empirical Evidence from the World Trade Organization," NBER Working Papers 12727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Double-edged incentives: Institutions and policy coordination," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 1973-2030 Elsevier.
  28. 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.
  29. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Muhammad Islam, 2004. "The long run relationship between openness and government size: evidence from bounds test," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 995-1000.
  31. Andersen, Torben M., 2004. "Challenges to the Scandinavian welfare model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 743-754, September.
  32. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
  34. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Stephen Bond & Céline Nauges & Frank Windmeijer, 2002. "Unit Roots and Identification in Autoregressive Panel Data Models: A Comparison of Alternative Tests," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C5-4, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  36. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2006. "Openness, Volatility and the Risk Content of Exports," 2006 Meeting Papers 86, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  37. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
  38. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  39. Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2006. "Neighborhood effects in economic growth," Working Papers 0627, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  40. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  41. van der ploeg, F., 1987. "Coordination of optimal taxation in a two-country equilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 279-285.
  42. Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade, Capital Mobility, and Tax Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 835-56, August.
  43. Devereux, Michael B, 1991. "The Terms of Trade and the International Coordination of Fiscal Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 720-36, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:359. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.