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Does government size affect per-capita income growth? A Hierarchical meta-regression analysis

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  • Churchill, Sefa Awaworyi
  • Ugur, Mehmet
  • Yew, Siew Ling

Abstract

Since the late 1970s, the received wisdom has been that government size (measured as the ratio of total government expenditure to GDP or government consumption to GDP) is detrimental to economic growth. We conduct a hierarchical meta-regression analysis of 799 effect-size estimates reported in 87 primary studies to verify if such assertion is supported by existing evidence. Our findings indicate that the conventional prior belief is supported by evidence mainly from developed countries but not from less developed countries (LDCs). We argue that the negative relationship between government size and economic growth in developed countries may reflect endogeneity bias.

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  • Churchill, Sefa Awaworyi & Ugur, Mehmet & Yew, Siew Ling, 2016. "Does government size affect per-capita income growth? A Hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 16016, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:gpe:wpaper:16016
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    Keywords

    Economic growth; Government size; Government expenditure; Government consumption; Meta-analysis; Evidence synthesis;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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