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Is Government Size Optimal in the Gulf Countries of the Middle East? An empirical investigation


  • Hassan Aly
  • Mark Strazicich


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). The 'Barro rule' is examined using regression tests for each country and in panels created by pooling data. Results find that government consumption is productive, but the size of government is larger than optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan Aly & Mark Strazicich, 2000. "Is Government Size Optimal in the Gulf Countries of the Middle East? An empirical investigation," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 475-483.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:14:y:2000:i:4:p:475-483
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170050150147

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karras, Georgios, 1993. "Employment and Output Effects of Government Spending: Is Government Size Important?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 354-369, July.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, January.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    4. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 280-294, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pelin Varol Iyidogan & Taner Turan, 2017. "Government Size and Economic Growth in Turkey: A Threshold Regression Analysis," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2017(2), pages 142-154.
    2. Taner Turan, 2014. "Optimal Size of Government in Turkey," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(2), pages 286-294.

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