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Structural changes, cointegration and the empirics of Thirlwall's law

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Abstract:

Thirlwall's law establishes a relation between the long-run growth rate, the growth of exports and the long-run income elasticity of imports. The estimation of this parameter requires cointegration techniques, which in turn require a large span of data, thus exposing the estimates to risks of structural changes. While this problem has been recognized in the literature, the evidence produced is still partial, being concerned with a very limited number of countries, and in some respects unsatisfactory. In this article we fill this gap by assessing Thirlwall's empirical regularity on a sample of 22 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries using econometric techniques that allow for the presence of a shift of unknown date in the long-run parameters. The results are generally supportive of Thirlwall's hypothesis and allow us to reconcile and qualify the evidence provided in the existing literature.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840701721299

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Economia e Storia del Territorio, Universita 'Gabriele D'Annunzio', Piazza San Rocco, I-66010, Torrevecchia Teatina

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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