Why Do Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?

Posted: 10 Nov 1998

See all articles by Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

There exists a positive correlation between an economy's exposure to international trade and the size of its government. The correlation holds for most measures of government spending, in low- as well as high-income samples, and is robust to the inclusion of a wide range of controls. One explanation is that government spending plays a risk-reducing role in economies exposed to a significant amount of external risk. The paper provides a range of evidence consistent with this hypothesis. In particular, the relationship between openness and government size is strongest when terms-of-trade risk is highest.

JEL Classification: H11, H50

Suggested Citation

Rodrik, Dani, Why Do Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=129128

Dani Rodrik (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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