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Explaining the Size of the Public Sector

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  • Margarita Katsimi

Abstract

This 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 461.

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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:461

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Cited by:
  1. Roberta da Silva Vieira, 2009. "O Tamanho do Setor Público no Contexto do Federalismo: Um Modelo Aplicado aos Municípios Brasileiros," Discussion Papers 1415, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  2. Katsimi, Margarita, 1999. "Elections and the size of the public sector," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 441-462, September.
  3. Facchini, Francois, 2014. "The determinants of public spending: a survey in a methodological perspective," MPRA Paper 53006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. De Witte, Kristof & Moesen, Wim, 2009. "Sizing the Government," MPRA Paper 14785, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide, 2010. "Government size, composition, volatility and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 517-532, December.
  6. Naveed H. Naqvi, 2002. "Crowding-in or Crowding-out? Modelling the Relationship between Public and Private Fixed Capital Formation Using Co-integration Analysis: The Case of Pakistan 1964-2000," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 41(3), pages 255-276.
  7. Günther G. Schulze & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1999. "Globalisation of the Economy and the Nation State," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 295-352, 05.
  8. Francesca Gastaldi & Paolo Liberati, 2011. "Economic integration and government size: a review of the empirical literature," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 35(3), pages 327-384.

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