Sizing the government

Kristof De Witte*, Wim Moesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Web of Science)


Is there such a thing as an optimal government size? we investigate the so-called armey curve, which claims an inverted u-shaped relationship between government size and economic performance, using non-parametric data envelopment analysis (dea). The dea scores are linked to control variables, such as initial per capita income, openness, population density, urbanization, country size and family size. For 23 oecd-countries we estimate the country specific efficiency scores, which reveal the extent to which a country uses excess public resources to achieve the observed growth rate of gdp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Government size
  • Public sector performance
  • Armey-curve

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