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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.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 00/205.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/205
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  1. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  4. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
  5. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  6. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  8. International Monetary Fund, 2001. "Fiscal Decentralization and Governance; A Cross-Country Analysis," IMF Working Papers 01/71, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Fox, Jonathan, 1996. "How does civil society thicken? the political construction of social capital in rural Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1089-1103, June.
  10. Luiz R. De Mello Jr., 2004. "Can Fiscal Decentralization Strengthen Social Capital?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 32(1), pages 4-35, January.
  11. Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann, Daniel & Pritchett, Lant H, 1997. "Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Performance of Government Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 219-42, May.
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