The size of the government has a causal and positive effect on economic growth. In the new FiFo Discussion Paper 24-1, FiFo Policy Fellow Carsten Colombier uses a panel data set from 1880 to 2016 for 17 industrialised countries to show that the real world and growth theory do not always align. However, the positive growth effect is small and does not apply to any given kind of government spending. Obviously, it remains important to strengthen the efficiency and quality of public finances.

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