Martin Zagler: Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics & B.A.
Abstract: This paper is a first attempt to empirically evaluate some competing hypotheses for the Austrian growth performance. We find that the real appreciations, gross investment, a low duration of unemployment and high youth employment exhibit a significant influence on economic growth. This validates the hard currency policy hypothesis, the macroeconomic management hypothesis, and the microinstitutions hypothesis, whilst all other fail according to this exercise. In particular, we find the Schulmeister-thesis of loose money and the deficit spending hypothesis are even counterfactual. Summarizing, we find that economic policy had its share in promoting growth in the Austrian economy. As a byproduct from our analysis, we find that low levels of unemployment have a significant and positive impact on the growth rate of real GDP, which calls for further theoretical research in this direction.
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