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Government size, composition of public expenditure, and economic development

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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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
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:17/2013
Contact details of provider: Postal: 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. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. 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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  4. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
  5. Folster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 2001. "Growth effects of government expenditure and taxation in rich countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1501-1520, August.
  6. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide, 2008. "Government size, composition, volatility and economic growth," Working Paper Series 0849, European Central Bank.
  7. 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 S103-26, October.
  8. Alexandros Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2008. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Development," Working Papers wp200802, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  11. Fölster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 1997. "Growth and the Public Sector: A Critique of the Critics," Working Paper Series 492, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 10 Jun 1998.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  15. Bernhard Heitger, 2001. "The Scope of Government and its Impact on Economic Growth in OECD Countries," Kiel Working Papers 1034, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  16. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Public sector efficiency: An international comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
  18. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  19. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta & Philip Hemmings, 2001. "Economic Growth: The Role of Policies and Institutions: Panel Data. Evidence from OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 283, OECD Publishing.
  20. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521664103 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Hauner, David & Kyobe, Annette, 2010. "Determinants of Government Efficiency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1527-1542, November.
  24. 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 914-27, October.
  25. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  26. Abdullah Yavas, 1998. "Does too much government investment retard economic development of a country?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(4), pages 296-308, September.
  27. Vito Tanzi & Howell H. Zee, 1997. "Fiscal Policy and Long-Run Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 179-209, June.
  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. Alex Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2008. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 08/155, International Monetary Fund.
  30. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521662918 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1996. "Optimal Government Spending and Taxation in Endgenous Growth Models," NBER Working Papers 5851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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