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Determinants of Government Consumption Expenditure in Developing Countries: A Panel Data Analysis

Discussion Papers

No.266

December 2010

ABSTRACT

The paper focuses on the recent pattern of government consumption expenditure in developing countries and estimates the determinants which have influenced government expenditure. Using a panel data set for 111 developing countries from 1984 to 2004, this study finds evidence that political and institutional variables as well as governance variables significantly influence government expenditure. Among other results, the paper finds new evidence of Wagner's law which states that peoples' demand for service and willingness to pay is income-elastic hence the expansion of public economy is influenced by the greater economic affluence of a nation (Cameron1978). Corruption is found to be influential in explaining the public expenditure of developing countries. On the contrary, size of the economy and fractionalization are found to have significant negative association with government expenditure. In addition, the study finds evidence that public expenditure significantly shrinks under military dictatorship compared with other form of governance.

Keywords: Government expenditure; Corruption; Fractionalization; Governance; Political institutions and Extreme bound analysis
JEL classification: E01, E02, E61, E62, H2, H4, H5, H6, O11 and O5.

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Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.