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Government size, composition of public expenditure, and economic development

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This paper analyzes the effects of government size and of the composition of public expenditure on economic development. Using the system-GMM estimator for linear dynamic panel data models, on a sample covering up to 156 countries and 5-year periods from 1980 to 2010, we find that government size as a percentage of GDP has a quadratic (inverted U-shaped) effect on the growth rate of the Human Development Index (HDI). This effect is especially pronounced in developed and high income countries. We also find that the composition of public expenditure affects development, with the share of five subcomponents exhibiting non-linear relationships with HDI growth.

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File URL: http://www.nipe.eeg.uminho.pt/Uploads/NIPE_WP_17_2013.pdf
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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 17/2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:17/2013
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Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Phone: +351-253604510 ext 5532
Fax: +351-253601380
Web page: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/versao_inglesa/index_uk.htm
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  1. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S., 1988. "Public Policy And Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," RCER Working Papers 225, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  3. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521664103, December.
  4. Hauner, David & Kyobe, Annette, 2010. "Determinants of Government Efficiency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1527-1542, November.
  5. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  6. Fölster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 2000. "Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 391, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
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  10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  11. Folster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 1999. "Growth and the public sector: a critique of the critics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 337-358, June.
  12. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Nafziger,E. Wayne, 2012. "Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521765480, December.
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  22. repec:eme:jespps:v:25:y:1998:i:4:p:296-308 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Transfers, social safety nets and economic growth," Economics Working Papers 139, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  24. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
  25. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  26. Heitger, Bernhard, 2001. "The Scope of Government and its Impact on Economic Growth in OECD Countries," Kiel Working Papers 1034, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  27. Davies, Antony, 2009. "Human development and the optimal size of government," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 326-330, March.
  28. Steve Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  29. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
  30. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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