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Measuring the Size of Government


  • Abizadeh, Sohrab
  • Basilevsky, Alexander


The objective is to explore the correlational structure of government activity variables. By using principal components analysis with data from eighteen OECD countries (averaged between 1971-85) and variables which reflect the size of government, it is concluded that the controversy over the use of absolute versus relative measures of the size of government is extraneous to the debate. In addition, including nonexhaustive expenditures in total government outlays does not make a significant difference to the outcome of the analysis. In the process of the data analysis, major dimensions of government size are uncovered and identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Abizadeh, Sohrab & Basilevsky, Alexander, 1990. "Measuring the Size of Government," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 45(3), pages 353-377.
  • Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:45:y:1990:i:3:p:353-77

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    Cited by:

    1. Odedoyin, Stephen, 2012. "Changing Fiscal Policy Actions, Economic Growth and Inflation in Nigeria, 1980-2009," MPRA Paper 94431, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Jul 2012.

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