Endogenous Growth and External Balance in a Small Open Economy

This paper puts forward an intertemporal model of a small open economy which allows for the simultaneous analysis of the determination of endogenous growth and external balance. The model assumes infinitely lived, overlapping generations that maximize lifetime utility, and competitive firms that maximize their net present value in the presence of adjustment costs for investment. Domestic securities are assumed perfect substitutes for foreign securities and the economy is assumed small in the sense of being a price taker in international goods and assets markets. It is shown that the endogenous growth rate is determined solely as a function of the determinants of domestic investment, such as the world real interest rate, the technology of domestic production and adjustment costs for investment and is independent of the preferences of domestic households and budgetary policies. The preferences of consumers and budgetary policies determine the savings rate. The current account and external balance are functions of the difference between the savings and the investment rates. The world real interest rate affects growth negatively but has a positive impact on external balance. The productivity of domestic capital affects growth positively but causes a deterioration in external balance. Population growth, government consumption and government debt affect the current account and external balance negatively, but do not affect the endogenous growth rate.

Open Economies Review, (2014), 25, pp. 571-594DOI 10.1007/s11079-013-9290-8

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The Two Faces of Janus: Institutions, Policy Regimes and Macroeconomic Performance in Greece

The clear change in policy regime in Greece around 1974 offers an opportunity to assess the extent to which economic performance depends on institutional underpinnings. For twenty years up to 1974, Greece enjoyed rapid growth, high investment and low inflation; during the next twenty years, growth and investment collapsed and inflation became high and persistent.

I describe the political background to such clear institutional change, and the nature of the two economic regimes: the first providing coordination and commitment mechanisms to sustain adequate returns for high investment, the second failing to do so. The same change in political climate after 1974 raised public sector deficits and debt, fuelling a trade deficit and monetary expansion. Entry to the EC did not cause the economic slowdown in Greece, but transfers from the EC did mask the underlying problem, delaying necessary adjustment. Recent attempts to reverse Greece’s fortunes are in the right direction but as yet inadequate.

Economic Policy

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Money and Endogenous Growth

This paper provides a coherent framework of endogenous growth and overlapping generations with money in the utility function and inelastic labor supply. Monetary growth permanently affects real growth. An increase in monetary growth then no longer leads to an identical increase in inflation,and also money is no longer the sole determinant of inflation in the long run. We also show that increases in public debt and public consumption damage growth prospects and thus increase inflation even when accompanied by increases in lump-sum taxes and a constant rate of growth of the nominal money supply.

Journal of Money, Credit and Banking (with Rick van der Ploeg)

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On Public Debt Stabilizations in an Interdependent World

This paper considers alternative modes of stabilization of world-wide and relative levels of public debt. The analysis is in terms of a model of overlapping, infinitely lived households. Three methods are compared: tax finance, public- consumption finance and monetary finance. We show that a tax-financed world-wide public-debt stabilization results in the highest reduction in consumption and the capital stock; monetary finance has no real effects in the model examined, other than on the composition of public-sector liabilities between money and bonds. A tax-financed relative public-debt stabilization by one country is shown to be associated with a greater rise in external debt and fall in relative consumption than either of the other methods. Monetary finance is again shown to have no real effects.

in George Alogoskoufis, Tryphon Kollintzas and George Provopoulos (eds), Essays in Honor of Constantine Drakatos, Athens, Papazissis. 

Debts, Deficits and Growth in Interdependent Economies

We investigate the effects of budgetary policies on growth rates, external debt, real interest rates and the stock market valuation of capital in a two-country, overlapping-generations model of endogenous growth. A worldwide rise in the public debt/GDP ratio, or the share of government consumption, reduces savings and growth. They also increase real interest rates and depress the stock market because of the adjustment costs of investment. A relative rise in one country’s debt/GDP ratio or its GDP share of government consumption results in a reduction in its ratio of external assets to GDP. Growth rates are equalized unless there are differences in investment adjustment costs or depreciation rates. Per capita output levels do not necessarily converge.
(with Rick van der Ploeg), in Baldassarri Mario, Massimo Di Matteo and Robert Mundell (eds), International Problems of Economic Interdependence, London, Macmillan (1994).

On Budgetary Policies, Growth, and External Deficits in an Interdependent World

We investigate the effects of budgetary policies in a two-country model of overlapping generations and endogenous growth. In the presence of capital mobility, endogenous growth rates are equalized, but output levels do not converge. A worldwide rise in the public debt to GDP ratio or the share of government consumption reduces savings and growth. A relative rise in one country’s debt to GDP ratio or its GDP share of government consumption results in a fall in external assets and its relative savings rate. In the short run, the fall in the savings rate is higher, and the country experiences higher current account deficits as a percentage of GDP.

Journal of the Japanese and International Economies (with Rick van der Ploeg)

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