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Economists have long investigated theoretically and empirically the relationship between government spending and equilibrium real exchange rates. As Frenkel and Razin (1996) summarize for a small open economy, government expenditures (financed by lump-sum taxes) influence real exchange rates via a resource-withdrawal channel and a consumption-tilting channel. Recent theoretical and empirical studies, such as Froot and Rogoff (1991), Rogoff (1992), De Gregorio, Giovannini, and Krueger (1994), De Gregorio, Giovannini, and Wolf (1994), De Gregorio and Wolf (1994), and Chinn and Johnston (1996), have focused only upon the effects of government spending through the resource-withdrawal channel. Extending Frenkel and Razin (1996), this paper generates closed-form theoretical solutions for the relationships among the real exchange rate, relative per capita private consumption, relative per capita government consumption, and relative per capita tradables and nontradables production in a two-country general equilibrium model. Using relative price level, private and government per capita consumption, and relative productivity data from the Summers and Heston (1991) Penn World Tables and OECD (1 996) data for a sample of OECD countries relative to the United States, we estimate the model' s structural equations. The results suggest that government expenditures influence equilibrium real exchange rates approximately equally via the resource-withdrawal and consumption-tilting channels. Moreover, the results imply that government spending and private consumption are complements in utility.


CPPS Working Paper Series No.101

Recommended Citation

Balvers, R. J., & Bergstrand, J. H. (2000). Government expenditures and equilibrium real exchange rates (CPPS Working Papers Series no.101). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: