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Determinants of government size: Evidence from China

  • Wu, Alfred M.
  • Lin, Mi

This paper investigates the determinants of government size at the provincial level in China. We employ the panel data model as a platform for empirical analysis and control for endogeneity in the study. Our study shows that openness to trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) may curtail government expansion, and that the provincial-level public sector is characterized by economies of scale. This study also documents that Wagner’s law does not hold true for China. Moreover, both expenditure decentralization and revenue decentralization contribute to the expansion of China’s government.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/27089/1/MPRA_paper_27089.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27089.

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Date of creation: 23 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27089
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  1. Ehdaie, Jaber, 1994. "Fiscal decentralization and the size of the government : an extension with evidence from cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1387, The World Bank.
  2. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, November.
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  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Fock, Achim & Wong, Christine, 2008. "Financing rural development for a harmonious society in China : recent reforms in public finance and their prospects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4693, The World Bank.
  9. Kristof Witte & Wim Moesen, 2010. "Sizing the government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 39-55, October.
  10. Chien-Hsun Chen, 2004. "Fiscal decentralization, collusion and government size in China's transitional economy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(11), pages 699-705.
  11. Sunday Osaretin Iyare & Troy Lorde, 2004. "Co-integration, causality and Wagner's law: tests for selected Caribbean countries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(13), pages 815-825.
  12. Halicioglu Ferda, 2003. "Testing Wagner's Law for Turkey, 1960-2000," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 31-42, August.
  13. Emmanuel Ziramba, 2008. "Wagner'S Law: An Econometric Test For South Africa, 1960-2006," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(4), pages 596-606, December.
  14. Gelb, A & Knight, John B & Sabot, R H, 1991. "Public Sector Employment, Rent Seeking and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1186-99, September.
  15. Ernesto H. Stein & Jorge M. Streb, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6436, Inter-American Development Bank.
  16. Mala Lalvani, 2002. "Can Decentralization Limit Government Growth? A Test of the Leviathan Hypothesis for the Indian Federation," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 25-46, Summer.
  17. Sinha, Dipendra, 2007. "Does the Wagner’s Law hold for Thailand? A Time Series Study," MPRA Paper 2560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Matthew Cole & Robert Elliott & Jing Zhang, 2009. "Corruption, Governance and FDI Location in China: A Province-Level Analysis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1494-1512.
  19. Jin, Jing & Zou, Heng-fu, 2002. "How does fiscal decentralization affect aggregate, national, and subnational government size?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 270-293, September.
  20. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Ming-Hung Yao, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and Public Sector Employment: A Cross-Country Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0903, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  21. Akitoby, Bernardin & Clements, Benedict & Gupta, Sanjeev & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2006. "Public spending, voracity, and Wagner's law in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 908-924, December.
  22. Ram, Rati, 2009. "Openness, country size, and government size: Additional evidence from a large cross-country panel," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 213-218, February.
  23. Tobin, Damian, 2005. "Economic Liberalization, the Changing Role of the State and "Wagner's Law": China's Development Experience since 1978," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 729-743, May.
  24. Alena Kimakova, 2009. "Government size and openness revisited: the case of financial globalization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 394-406, 08.
  25. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  26. John P. Burns, 2007. "Civil Service Reform in China," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25.
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