THE IMPACT OF INTEREST GROUPS ON GOVERNMENT SIZE—REGIONAL EVIDENCE FROM TURKEY
Keywords:regional studies, pressure groups, public expenditure, public choice theory
This study is aimed to investigate the regional pressure groups' effect on the government size in Turkey. According to the public choice theory, elections, political parties, interest and pressure groups, and bureaucracy significantly affect the public production process. Among these actors, pressure and interest groups directly affect variables such as economic growth and public expenditures. In this study, panel data analysis was used to observe the regional effect. The research data set covered 81 provinces of Turkey and the period between 2006 and 2018. According to the results, it was found that interest and pressure groups increase the public expenditures in the less developed regions in Turkey. These results are consistent with the empirical and theoretical studies. For this reason, the study has an important contribution to the literature. This study offers significant conclusions that public economic policies might be under the influence of interest and pressure groups. Even if stated that the results of this study might have many economic, demographic, social, and political reasons regarding Turkey, in the context of public choice theory, it could be seen as a significant indicator of not using public expenditure policies as efficient instruments. This situation shows that public resources are not used efficiently in Turkey and the government has a negative effect on the economy. To eradicate this negative effect, governments coming to power in the future ought to produce economic, political, and social policies in order to decrease the regional differences dramatically in Turkey.
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