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Financial openness and the size of the public sector: a portfolio approach

Erauskin-Iurrita, Inaki (2008): Financial openness and the size of the public sector: a portfolio approach.

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Abstract

A good deal of time has been devoted to whether more open economies have bigger governments (compensation hypothesis) or sma-ller ones (efficiency hypothesis). However, most of the research has been focused mainly on trade openness, which is clearly restrictive in a world with increasingly integrated financial markets. This paper offers an alternative view to the relationship between financial openness and some key economic variables (the size of the public sector, ...), based on a portfolio approach. A central result of the model is that an open economy implies a higher consumption-wealth ratio, lower growth, higher welfare, and a higher size of the public sector than in a closed economy due to the risk diversification that an open economy allows. The empirical evidence for 22 OECD countries in the period 1970-2004 broadly supports the main results of the model.

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