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Is Government Size Optimal in the Gulf Countries of the Middle East? An Empirical Investigation

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  • Hassan Aly

    ()
    (African Development Bank)

  • Mark Strazicich

Abstract

The size of government consumption relative to national output is examined to see if it is optimal in five Gulf countries of the Middle East. We follow the methodology suggested in Barro (1990) and Karras (1996, 1997) and examine the marginal productivity of government consumption. The "Barro rule" states that government services are optimally provided when the marginal product of government consumption is one. Regression tests are undertaken for each country, and then in panels created by pooling data from all countries. Results reveal that government consumption is productive, but the size of government is too large to be optimal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Forum in its series Working Papers with number 9911.

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Length: 9 pages
Date of creation: Apr 1999
Date of revision: Apr 1999
Publication status: Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)
Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:9911

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  1. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  2. Karras, Georgios, 1993. "Employment and Output Effects of Government Spending: Is Government Size Important?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 354-69, July.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guseh, James S., 1997. "Government Size and Economic Growth in Developing Countries: A Political-Economy Framework," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 175-192, January.
  5. Karras, Georgios, 1997. "On the Optimal Government Size in Europe: Theory and Empirical Evidence," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(3), pages 280-94, June.
  6. Karras, Georgios, 1996. "The Optimal Government Size: Further International Evidence on the Productivity of Government Services," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 193-203, April.
  7. Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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