- 2008, 13
Increasing public expenditures : Wagner´s Law in OECD countries
- The paper proposes a panel cointegration analysis of the joint development of government expenditures and economic growth in 23 OECD countries. The empirical evidence provides indication of a structural positive correlation between public spending and per-capita GDP which is consistent with the so-called Wagner´s law. A long-run elasticity larger than one suggests a more than proportional increase of government expenditures with respect to economic activity. In addition, according to the spirit of the law, we found that the correlation is usually higher in countries with lower per-capita GDP, suggesting that the catching-up period is characterized by a stronger development of government activities with respect to economies in a more advanced state of development.
- 2008, 01
The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates – evidence from consumer credit data
- We use a new panel dataset of credit card accounts to analyze how consumer responded to the 2001 Federal income tax rebates. We estimate the monthly response of credit card payments, spending, and debt, exploiting the unique, randomized timing of the rebate disbursement. We find that, on average, consumers initially saved some of the rebate, by increasing their credit card payments and thereby paying down debt. But soon afterwards their spending increased, counter to the canonical Permanent-Income model. Spending rose most for consumers who were initially most likely to be liquidity constrained, whereas debt declined most (so saving rose most) for unconstrained consumers. More generally, the results suggest that there can be important dynamics in consumers’ response to “lumpy” increases in income like tax rebates, working in part through balance sheet (liquidity) mechanisms.