Postprint version. Published in Public Choice, Volume 49, January 1, 1986, pages 143-154.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Michael L. Marlow was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00181036.
Industrialized nations have experienced growing public sectors over this century. Measured as a share of total product, growing absorptions of resources by governments have altered the private-public sector mixes of industrialized economies. As displayed in Table 1, the average level of the public sector's share of gross domestic product (GDP) has risen from .32 to .40 over 1960 to 1980, respectively. Much of public sector growth stems from a rapid acceleration in public outlays on social expenditure: The average ratio of social expenditure to GDP has risen from .14 to .24 over the same period.