Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 864: Growth Effects of Fiscal Policies: A Critical Appraisal of Colombier’s (2009) Study

Andreas Bergh () and Nina Öhrn ()
Additional contact information
Andreas Bergh: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Nina Öhrn: Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics

Abstract: In a recent paper, Colombier (2009) uses a robust estimation technique and claims to find empirical evidence that government size has not been detrimental to growth for OECD countries during the 1970 to 2001 period, and that endogenous growth theory is not corroborated. We examine the robustness of these findings, and show that Colombier’s results differ from those in other recent papers not because of the estimator used, but because of the exclusion of other control variables. Adding time fixed effects to Colombier’s data set, and using the same econometric method, we obtain results in line with other findings, corroborating endogenous growth theory. Adding further control variables illustrates the robustness of the negative correlation between total tax revenue and economic growth for both instrumented and non-instrumented regressions.

Keywords: Economic growth; Government size; Taxation; Robust estimators; Panel data

JEL-codes: E62; H11; H20; O43

12 pages, March 3, 2011

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