Title

The Effects of Size and Structure of Government On Economic Growth: A Comparison of European Models With the Anglo-American Model

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

First Advisor

Shahdad Naghspour

Advisor Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of government size and structure on economic growth. It will employ the logic of the Armey Curve, which is similar to the Laffer curve, to explain the correlation between central government size and GDP. In short, government can enhance output versus an anarchical society, but too much of a good thing retards growth as government consumes more and severely retards the potential gains of the given incentive structure. Using OECD nations as a sample, a taxonomy of the sample countries is developed, based upon the extant literature. In each model of capitalism, the government and economy are examined in relation to spending patterns, regulatory environment, political/government structure, and legal system. We test for robustness for each model and then turn to assessing each model's past growth as well as potential growth.