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Open access

Fiscal Spending and Economic Growth: Some Stylized Facts

Published inWorld development, vol. 40, no. 9, p. 1750-1761
Publication date2012

Using an “event analysis”, this paper complements the cross-country approach to the study of fiscal correlates of growth. Data on fiscal expenditures and growth for a database of 140 countries (118 developing countries) over 1972–2005 are reorganized around turning points providing a summary but encompassing description of “what is in the data”. For this sample, the probability of occurrence of a fiscal event is about 10%, and, the probability of a growth event once a fiscal event had occurred is around 26%. For developing countries, fiscal events followed by growth events occur under situations of (i) significantly lesser deficit, (ii) fewer resources devoted to non-interest general public services and (iii) shift in primary expenditures toward transport & communication. After controlling for the growth-inducing effects of positive terms-of-trade shocks and of trade liberalization reform, probit estimates indicate that a growth event is more likely to occur in a developing country when surrounded by a fiscal event. Moreover, the probability of occurrence of a growth event in the years following a fiscal event is greater the lower is the associated fiscal deficit, confirming that success of a growth-oriented fiscal expenditure reform is associate with a stabilized macroeconomic environment (through limited primary fiscal deficit).

  • Fiscal space
  • Primary spending
  • Growth acceleration
  • Event analysis
  • Developing countries
Citation (ISO format)
CARRERE, Céline, DE MELO, Jaime. Fiscal Spending and Economic Growth: Some Stylized Facts. In: World development, 2012, vol. 40, n° 9, p. 1750–1761. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.04.011
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Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0305-750X

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