I Danmark diskuterer man de næste års vækst i disse uger, og diskuterer den ret heftigt. Ikke mindst oppositionen argumenterer for en ’vækstplan’, der ikke blot vil øge et offentliges rolle i økonomien, men også øge den offentlige sektors størrelse. Vi har flere gange skrevet om det her på stedet, men (med et hattip til Niclas Berggren), er her abstractet fra en ny artikel. Andreas Bergh og Magnus Henrekson giver i ”Government Size and Growth: A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence”, som trykkes i Journal of Economic Surveys, en oversight med fortolkning over, hvad vi ved:
The literature on the relationship between the size of government and economic growth is full of seemingly contradictory findings. This conflict is largely explained by variations in definitions and the countries studied. An alternative approach – of limiting the focus to studies of the relationship in rich countries, measuring government size as total taxes or total expenditure relative to GDP and relying on panel data estimations with variation over time – reveals a more consistent picture. The most recent studies find a significant negative correlation: an increase in government size by 10 percentage points is associated with a 0.5% to 1% lower annual growth rate. We discuss efforts to make sense of this correlation, and note several pitfalls involved in giving it a causal interpretation. Against this background, we discuss two explanations of why several countries with high taxes seem able to enjoy above average growth. One hypothesis is that countries with higher social trust levels are able to develop larger government sectors without harming the economy. Another explanation is that countries with large governments compensate for high taxes and spending by implementing market-friendly policies in other areas. Both explanations are supported by ongoing research.
Er der ikke en behjertet sjæl derude, der kunne stoppe det budskab ned i halsen på et par politikere?