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Determinants of Government Efficiency

  • David Hauner
  • Annette Kyobe

We compile the first large cross-country panel dataset of public sector performance and efficiency, encompassing 114 countries on all income levels from 1980 to 2006, with about 1,800 country-year observations for the education sector and about 900 observations for health. We regress these indicators on potential economic, institutional, demographic, and geographic determinants. Our most resounding conclusion is that higher government expenditure relative to GDP tends to be associated with lower efficiency in the respective sector. Moreover, we find that richer countries exhibit better public sector performance and efficiency, and that institutional and demographic factors also play a significant role.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/228.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/228
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  1. Peter Heller & David Hauner, 2006. "Fiscal policy in the face of long-term expenditure uncertainties," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 325-350, August.
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  11. Tanzi, Vito & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1997. "Reconsidering the Fiscal Role of Government: The International Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 164-68, May.
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  14. Hauner, David, 2008. "Explaining Differences in Public Sector Efficiency: Evidence from Russia's Regions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1745-1765, October.
  15. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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  17. Desai, Raj M. & Freinkman, Lev & Goldberg, Itzhak, 2005. "Fiscal federalism in rentier regions: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 814-834, December.
  18. Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 0242, European Central Bank.
  19. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  20. Cagatay Bircan & David Hauner & Alessandro Prati, 2012. "The interest group theory of financial development: evidence from regulation," Working Papers 150, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
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