Carnegie Mellon University
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The Growth of Government Revisited

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journal contribution
posted on 1993-01-01, 00:00 authored by Allan MeltzerAllan Meltzer

Governments have grown faster than the private sector in all countries where governments are chosen by the votes of the citizens in competitive elections with complete, or near universal, suffrage. This finding has been documented in many studies and for different time periods. Although the finding is sometimes questioned, I accept it as a fact and ask four questions. First, is the growing size of government a recent phenomenon? Second, is growth in the relative size of government increasing or decreasing?" Third, why does government grow faster than the private sector? Fourth, what could or should be done to slow the growth of government or, possibly, reduce the relative size of government.




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