Explaining the Size of the Public Sector
AbstractThis paper aims at providing an explanation for the size of the public sector based on the idea of 'social insurance'. The main assumption made is that the public sector is less efficient but also less volatile than the private sector. The 'demand-driven' level of the public sector that is derived as the one that maximizes the utility of the representative employed consumer depends positively on the variance of private output. An increase in the size of the public sector has a positive effect on expected employment and a negative effect on expected consumption. The size of the public sector set by the government which maximizes the probability of being reelected will be higher than the 'demand-driven' level if voters' preferences for employment is higher than the consumption loss associated with public employment. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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