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Growth effects of fiscal policies: an application of robust modified M-estimator

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In the field of economics only nonhigh-quality data is usually available, which can cause the widely used least square estimators (LSE) to be biased and inefficient. Therefore, the present study introduces the robust modified M-estimator (MME) proposed by Yohai et al. (1991). In the case of growth regressions with fiscal variables it can be shown that LSE is biased and inefficient, whereas MME is not. The robust regressions ascertain a stable positive growth effect of public infrastructure and education. Moreover, this study shows that government size has not been detrimental to growth for OECD countries in the past. No growth effects of taxation have been found so that endogenous growth theory is not corroborated in this regard. Consequently, fiscal policies aiming at promoting growth should focus on infrastructure and education.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840701736099

Affiliations: Group of Economic Advisors, Bundesgasse 3, Switzerland

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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