Does public sector efficiency matter? Revisiting the relation between fiscal size and economic growth in a world sample
This paper revisits the relationship between fiscal size and economic growth. Our work differs from the empirical growth literature because this relationship depends explicitly on the efficiency of the public sector. We use a sample of 64 countries, both developed and developing, in four 5-year time-periods over 1980-2000. Building on the work of Afonso, Schuknecht and Tanzi (2005), we construct a measure of public sector efficiency in each country and each time-period by calculating an output to input ratio. In addition, we get an estimate of technical efficiency of public spending for 52 countries for the time-period 1995-2000 by employing a stochastic frontier analysis. Using these two measures, we find evidence of a non-monotonic relation between fiscal size and economic growth that depends critically on government efficiency.
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