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Journal Article

From Myth to Reality: Globalisation and Public Spending in OECD Countries Revisited


Busemeyer,  Marius R.
Institutioneller Wandel im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Busemeyer, M. R. (2009). From Myth to Reality: Globalisation and Public Spending in OECD Countries Revisited. European Journal of Political Research, 48(4), 455-482. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2009.00838.x.

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Abstract. The prevailing but not unchallenged ‘conventional wisdom’ in the literature dealing with the impact of globalisation on public spending is that the effects of increased openness can be compensated through the welfare state. Repeatedly, studies have found little evidence for a ‘race to the bottom’ in taxation or spending. This research note shows that it is premature to conclude that globalisation has no negative impact on public spending. By extending the period of observation into the 2000s, by looking at changes in openness and spending instead of their levels, and by disentangling the effects of openness in the cross-sectional and over-time dimensions of variation, this article shows that the association between increased openness and spending is clearly negative. Although the contribution of this research note is mainly empirical, some theoretical arguments are presented, emphasising the long-term nature and complexity of policy making in the politics of globalisation.