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Does public sector efficiency matter? Revisiting the relation between fiscal size and economic growth in a world sample

  • Konstantinos Angelopoulos
  • Apostolis Philippopoulos
  • Efthymios Tsionas

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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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2007_30.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2007_30
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Web page: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/business/research/

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  1. Agell, Jonas & Ohlsson, Henry & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2003. "Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries: A Comment," Research Papers in Economics 2003:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521494267 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Folster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 2001. "Growth effects of government expenditure and taxation in rich countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1501-1520, August.
  4. Antonio Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2010. "Public sector efficiency: evidence for new EU member states and emerging markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2147-2164.
  5. Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 0242, European Central Bank.
  6. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Economides, George & Kammas, Pantelis, 2007. "Tax-spending policies and economic growth: Theoretical predictions and evidence from the OECD," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 885-902, December.
  7. Jakob De Haan & Susanna Lundström & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Market-oriented institutions and policies and economic growth: A critical survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 157-191, 04.
  8. Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous trade policy through majority voting: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-133, October.
  9. James Gwartney & Randal Holcombe & Robert Lawson, 1998. "The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Nations," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 18(2), pages 163-190, Fall.
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