The validity of Wagner’s law in Egypt from 1960–2018

Ghazy, N.H., Ghoneim, H. and Paparas, D. (2020) The validity of Wagner’s law in Egypt from 1960–2018. Review of Economics and Political Science.

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Purpose One of the main theories regarding the relationship between government expenditure and gross domestic product (GDP) is Wagner’s law. This law was developed in the late-19th century by Adolph Wagner (1835–1917), a prominent German economist, and depicts that an increase in government expenditure is a feature often associated with progressive states. This paper aims to examine the validity of Wagner’s law in Egypt for 1960–2018. The relationship between real government expenditure and real GDP is tested using three versions of Wagner’s law. Design/methodology/approach To test the validity of Wagner in Egypt, law time-series analysis is used. The methodology used in this paper is: unit-root tests for stationarity, Johansen cointegration approach, error-correction model and Granger causality. Findings The results provide strong evidence of long-term relationship between GDP and government expenditure. Moreover, the causal relationship is found to be bi-directional. Hence, this study provides support for Wagner’s law in the examined context. Research limitations/implications It should be noted, however, that there are some limitations to this study. For instance, in this paper, the government’s size was measured through government consumption expenditure rather than government expenditure due to data availability, which does not fully capture the government size. Moreover, the data available was limited and does not fully cover the earliest stages of industrialization and urbanization for Egypt. Furthermore, although time-series analysis provides a more contextualized results and conclusions, the obtained conclusions suffer from their limited generalizability. Originality/value This paper aims to specifically make a contribution to the empirical literature for Wagner’s law, by testing the Egyptian data using time-series econometric techniques for the longest time period examined so far, which is 1960–2018.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Wagner's law, GDP, Government expenditure, Time-series analysis, Egypt, C22, E60, H50, O4
Divisions: Food, Land and Agribusiness Management
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Giles
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 14:48
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 14:48

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