Using a new historical dataset over the time period 1862-2009, this paper tests the validity of Wagner’s Law of public spending (WL) in Italy. To this aim, cointegration and Granger causation are used to investigate the long run relationship between GDP and government expenditure. Moreover, DOLS method is applied to estimate consistent long run elasticity between these two variables. In contrast to previous studies, we evaluate WL for both total government expenditure and some specific items of spending. Our main findings are that WL does not hold in the long run for total government expenditure. However, we find strong support for WL in the shorter time span from 1862 to the end of the 19th century. Here WL is confirmed as regards both total government expenditure and all the specific items of spending we have considered. Conversely, in the post-Second World War years, WL holds only for capital expenditure, compensation of employees, justice and national security, welfare and redistribution by the state. Thus, it seems that Italy invested a great deal and for a long period in infrastructures, justice, national security, and welfare, and less in items such as education and culture that play a paramount role in the formation of human capital.

Pistoresi, B., A., Rinaldi e F., Salsano. "Government expenditure and economic development: evidence from Italy 1862-2009" Working paper, DEMB WORKING PAPER SERIES, Dipartimento di Economia Marco Biagi - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 2015. https://doi.org/10.25431/11380_1074326

Government expenditure and economic development: evidence from Italy 1862-2009

Pistoresi, B.;Rinaldi, A.;
2015

Abstract

Using a new historical dataset over the time period 1862-2009, this paper tests the validity of Wagner’s Law of public spending (WL) in Italy. To this aim, cointegration and Granger causation are used to investigate the long run relationship between GDP and government expenditure. Moreover, DOLS method is applied to estimate consistent long run elasticity between these two variables. In contrast to previous studies, we evaluate WL for both total government expenditure and some specific items of spending. Our main findings are that WL does not hold in the long run for total government expenditure. However, we find strong support for WL in the shorter time span from 1862 to the end of the 19th century. Here WL is confirmed as regards both total government expenditure and all the specific items of spending we have considered. Conversely, in the post-Second World War years, WL holds only for capital expenditure, compensation of employees, justice and national security, welfare and redistribution by the state. Thus, it seems that Italy invested a great deal and for a long period in infrastructures, justice, national security, and welfare, and less in items such as education and culture that play a paramount role in the formation of human capital.
Novembre
Pistoresi, B.; Rinaldi, A.; Salsano, F.
Pistoresi, B., A., Rinaldi e F., Salsano. "Government expenditure and economic development: evidence from Italy 1862-2009" Working paper, DEMB WORKING PAPER SERIES, Dipartimento di Economia Marco Biagi - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 2015. https://doi.org/10.25431/11380_1074326
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1074326
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