Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/85773
Authors: 
Nijkamp, Peter
Jacques Poot, Victoria
Year of Publication: 
2002
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 02-028/3
Abstract: 
The issue of whether the public sector enhances or retards long-run economic growth has been debated passionately in recent years. In this paper we use meta-analysis to shed light on the issue. A sample of 93 published studies, yielding 123 meta-observations, is used to examine the robustness of the evidence regarding the impact of fiscal policy on growth. We focus on five fiscal policy areas: general government consumption, tax rates, education expenditure, defence, and public infrastructure. Several meta-analytical techniques are applied, including frequency tabulation, logit analysis and rough set analysis. On balance, the evidence for a positive impact of policy on growth is rather weak, but the commonly identified importance of education and infrastructure is confirmed. The results are sensitive to several research design parameters. Cross-section studies are more likely to suggest a detrimental effect of big government on growth than studies using panel data, but they are unlikely to be able to correctly identify the growth impact of infrastructure. The probability that a study detects a significantly positive effect of public infrastructure on growth is the greater, the longer the time span of data used in the econometric analysis.
Subjects: 
endogenous growth
fiscal policy
meta-analysis
rough set analysis.
JEL: 
C49
O23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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