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Government size and efficiency as constraints to economic growth: comparing Croatia with other European countries

Marijana Bađun, Vedrana Pribičević and Milan Deskar-Škrbić
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Milan Deskar-Škrbić

Post-Communist Economies, 2014, vol. 26, issue 3, 297-323

Abstract: The goal of this article is to discover binding constraints to economic growth in Croatia relating to government. Following a growth diagnostics framework, we limit our analysis to government size and efficiency as potential constraints to growth. We calculate the optimal size of government and estimate the efficiency of government spending by applying data envelopment analysis and Tobit regression models. Apart from Croatia, our results also relate to other European Union member states, Iceland and Norway. We find that a binding constraint to Croatia's economic growth is not a big government but rather a weak government plagued by corruption. The average optimal size of government in old EU member states is larger than that in new EU member states but the former need to cut their government expenditure more sharply in order to reach the optimal size. Their government spending on economic growth factors is however more efficient on average than that of the latter countries.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2014.937089

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