محدودیت میزان پرداخت ها در رشد اقتصادی در یک چشم انداز بلند مدت: اسپانیا، 1850-2000
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|13040||2012||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Explorations in Economic History, Volume 49, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 105–117
The balance of payments can act as a constraint on the rate of growth of output, since it puts a limit on the growth in the level of demand to which supply can adapt. In this paper, we examine this issue for the case of Spain, using time series data extending over the period 1850–2000. Overall, the external deficit does not seem to have worked as a constraint on the growth of the Spanish economy over the long run, unless some shorter and specific subperiods, such as 1940–1959 and 1959–1974. The Spanish economy seems to have used external deficits to smooth her level of aggregate consumption, which would be supported by the finding of sustainability of current account deficits along the period of analysis.
The Spanish economy has experienced a steady process of growth since the beginning of industrialization at the start of the 19th century. However, though following a rather similar evolution to that of the rest of Western Europe, she underwent a relative retardation as compared to those countries. In particular, the real GDP of Spain multiplied by 40 over the period 1850–2000, with an annual average rate of growth of 2.4%; in per capita terms, GDP multiplied by 15 over the same period, and the average rate of growth was 1.7% per year. But, despite the intense catching-up that took place in the last fifty years, per capita GDP of Spain at the end of the 20th century was still around three quarters of Western Europe's, roughly the same as one hundred years before (Prados de la Escosura, 2007). On the other hand, the foreign sector has played a critical role in the development of the Spanish economy, in a country in which the endowments of natural resources were rather poor, and traditionally characterized by a relative backwardness in relation to their neighboring countries. In addition, the loss of most of the colonial empire in the first decades of the 19th century reinforced that crucial role of the foreign sector. The disappearance of the monopoly of trade with the American colonies meant that exports to the colonies and re-exporting colonial products to Europe were both drastically reduced, which translated into a reorientation of Spanish exports to the European markets and a large trade deficit. The assessment of the role played by the foreign sector in the economic progress of Spain has been controversial, though; see, e.g., Nadal, 1975 and Prados de la Escosura, 1988. An account of the main developments of the Spanish foreign sector in the last two centuries is provided in Tortella (2000). The important modernizing role played by the foreign sector on the evolution of the whole economy, though limited by its small relative size, has been emphasized in Prados de la Escosura (1988). In fact, the Spanish economy experienced a higher growth over those periods characterized by a greater external openness (as in, e.g., the 1960s, or the years after 1986); and, likewise, she fell behind coinciding with periods of a greater isolation against the rest of the world (such as the years 1890–1913, or 1930–1950) (Prados de la Escosura, 2007). On the whole, the lower weight of foreign trade on GDP as compared to the “European norm” (Molinas and Prados de la Escosura, 1989) might explain the relative backwardness of the Spanish economy until the last third of the 20th century. However, some authors have also argued that the trade deficit had been a chronic problem of the Spanish economy, given the traditional weakness of exports, and the need for essential imports such as energy, raw materials, intermediate products, and equipment goods. This, in turn, would have been translated into a subordination of growth to the evolution of the trade balance; see, e.g., Segura and García-Viñuela (1978). The recent availability of long time series for both GDP (Prados de la Escosura, 2003) and the foreign sector (Tena, 2005, Tena, 2007 and Prados de la Escosura, 2010) invites to a re-examination of the relationship between growth and foreign trade for the case of the Spanish economy. In particular, the aim of this paper will be to investigate whether or not the balance of payments would have meant an impediment to further GDP growth over the period 1850–2000. More specifically, we will analyze the two subperiods 1850–1913 and 1940–2000, on the grounds of availability of data on the current account balance (see below); leaving aside the interwar years, characterized by the disruption of the world economic order related to the first globalization. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 offers a review of the literature on the relationship between external deficit and economic growth, together with the available evidence for the Spanish case; in Section 3 we investigate whether the external deficit was a constraint to economic growth, which is complemented with an analysis of the sustainability of current account deficits in Section 4; finally, Section 5 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The Spanish economy has experienced a steady process of growth through the period 1850–2000, following a similar evolution to that of the rest of Western Europe. However, only in the second half of the 20th century Spain could catch-up with these countries, offsetting, at least partially, her relative retardation dating back to the start of industrialization. Although the periods of higher growth have been related to increases in the degree of external openness, some concerns have been also raised about whether a more open foreign sector could become a constraint on further growth via unsustainable trade deficits. This argument would be justified given the structural problems underwent by the Spanish economy, as shown in the weakness of exports, and the need for some essential imports. In this paper, we have analyzed whether or not the balance of payments would have meant an impediment to further GDP growth vis-à-vis Western Europe, over the period 1850–2000. More specifically, we have examined the two subperiods 1850–1913 and 1940–2000, on the grounds of availability of data on the current account balance; so, leaving aside the interwar years, characterized by the disruption of the world economic order related to the first globalization. To this end, we have followed a simple approach, calculating the so-called balance of payments-constrained growth rate from estimated income and real exchange rate elasticities for exports and imports, and allowing for the role of capital inflows. Then, this balance of payments-constrained growth rate is compared with the actual GDP growth rate. We found that for both 1850–1913 and 1940–2000, the Spanish rate of GDP growth was only slightly above the balance of payments-constrained growth rate, so that the foreign sector does not seem to have worked as a constraint on the growth of the Spanish economy over the long run, i.e., along the two subperiods 1850–1913 and 1940–2000. Next, in order to have a more precise picture, and given the potentially different behaviors of the series within every period, we have repeated the above exercise across a set of different subperiods. In the case of 1850–1913, we have analyzed the two subperiods 1850–1891 and 1892–1913, allowing for a possible break point in 1891 that relates to the inward-looking policy stance adopted at the end of the 19th century. Regarding 1940–2000, several alternative subperiods have been examined: (i) 1951–2000, 1951–1974 and 1975–2000, attending to the evolution of the GDP series; (ii) 1940–1959 and 1960–2000, attending to the evolution of the foreign trade series; and (iii) 1960–1974 and 1986–2000, related to the end of the expansionary phase in 1974, and the Spanish integration into the EU in 1986, respectively. As an additional check of the robustness of our results, we also tried two alternative proxies for foreign output. In general, the results did not change substantially across subperiods, and depending on how foreign output was measured. We have detected just two subperiods for which the actual growth rate exceeded to a certain extent the balance-of-payments constrained growth rate. They were: (i) 1940–1959, i.e., the “autarky” period that ended into a situation of virtual bankruptcy of the economy (with an excess of between 1.3 and 2.6 points, according to the particular proxy used for foreign output); and (ii) 1959–1974, i.e., the episode of highest economic growth in Spanish economic history (with an excess of around 2 points). Finally, since the above results tend to suggest that the external deficit would have allowed the Spanish economy smooth her level of aggregate consumption over the long run, we have tested whether the external deficit was sustainable throughout the periods 1850–1913 and 1940–2000. We made this by testing the country's intertemporal solvency, i.e., the fulfillment of the nation's IBC, by means of the estimation of a long-run relationship between exports and imports of goods and services as ratios to GDP. For both periods, we found that the two variables were cointegrated, and the estimated regression coefficient was positive and significant. Since this coefficient was lower than one for 1850–1913, and not significantly different from one for 1940–2000, the current account deficit would prove to be weakly sustainable and strongly sustainable during the first and the second period, respectively. Our results for the first period, 1850–1913 would agree with those of Prados de la Escosura (2010), who found no evidence on an external constraint on growth during that time; and argues that, by making possible the arrival of foreign capital inflows, growth would have proved to be higher in periods where current account deficits predominated. On the other hand, for the second period, 1940–2000, some evidence was found on the external sector as constraint on growth for the two subperiods 1940–1959 and 1959–1974, i.e., for the whole Franco regime. While the timid reforms of the 1950s would appear as a precondition for the successful performance of the 1960s (Prados de la Escosura et al., forthcoming), the later reforms associated with the Stabilization Plan of 1959 and subsequent measures, seem to have been insufficient to allow for a sustained growth, fully free of restrictions originated into the balance of payments. Only in more recent times (and, especially, following integration into the EU) income elasticities for exports and imports seem to have reached some more favorable values, according to Krugman's (1989) terminology. In other words, the increased external openness, coupled with the structural transformations operated in the Spanish foreign trade over the last thirty years, seems to have faded out the role of the external constraint on growth. Summarizing, the foreign sector does not seem to have worked as a constraint on the growth of the Spanish economy over the long run, that is, throughout the periods 1850–1913 and 1940–2000. If any, this might have occurred in some shorter and specific subperiods, such as 1940–1959 and 1959–1974. Overall, these results would roughly support the arguments put forward by the intertemporal approach to the current account so that, far from being a constraint on further growth, the external deficit would have allowed the Spanish economy smooth her level of aggregate consumption over the long run. This outcome would hold given the finding of sustainability of the external deficit over the long run. To conclude, recall that, once Spain joined the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) of the EU after 1999, the disappearance of the exchange rate risk made easier borrowing in international markets, due to both an increase in the supply of funds available and a decrease in its cost. In other words, the allowable external deficit would be higher in a monetary union (Blanchard and Giavazzi, 2002). Even though such an argument certainly softens the practical significance of the external constraint on growth for a country belonging to a monetary union, this should not mean neglecting the size of the external deficit, however. For instance, a large external deficit could reflect an unbalanced growth pattern and a loss of competitiveness of the economy, leading to a higher inflation than in the rest of the union, and hence to a real exchange rate appreciation. However, in a monetary union is no longer possible to offset such a loss of competitiveness by means of the depreciation of the nominal exchange rate, requiring instead a lower growth of domestic prices that would affect negatively future growth prospects. In other words, in a monetary union, the external constraint would be still binding, and the financing of current account imbalances would not be without limit.6 The nonclear-cut results on current account sustainability in the Spanish case for the period 1970–2007, found in Bajo-Rubio et al. (2011) can be interpreted in this light.