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Government Spending, Rights, and Civil Liberties


  • International Monetary Fund


Government spending plays a critical role in protecting and enforcing rights and civil liberties. Empirical evidence for a sample of industrial and developing countries shows that government expenditures on defense, law and order, social security, education, and health care are associated with three rights indicators—property rights, equality of citizens before the law, and economic freedom. In particular, an increase in spending on law and order seems to improve the indicators of rights and civil liberties, and lower budget deficits seem to improve property rights and equality before the law. Of great importance is the finding that corruption is associated with worse rights indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • International Monetary Fund, 2000. "Government Spending, Rights, and Civil Liberties," IMF Working Papers 00/205, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/205

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto F. Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 13-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
    8. Carter, John R & Schap, David, 1990. "Line-Item Veto: Where Is Thy Sting?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 103-118, Spring.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:01:p:117-129_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. John Carter & David Schap, 1987. "Executive veto, legislative override, and structure-induced equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 227-244, January.
    11. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    12. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1988. "The line item veto and public sector budgets : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 269-292, August.
    14. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Baoyun Qiao & Li Zhang, 2007. "The Role of Provincial Policies in Fiscal Equalization Outcomes in China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0705, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.


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