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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Public spending and Scottish devolution: crowding out, or crowding in?

Allan, G. and Ashcroft, B.K. and Plotnikova, M. (2007) Public spending and Scottish devolution: crowding out, or crowding in? Centre for Public Policy for Regions, Glasgow.

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Abstract

There has been a developing debate about the performance of the Scottish economy under devolution and the effect of the expansion of the public sector on Scottish growth. Several commentators have expressed concern that the size of the public sector in Scotland is now a drag on growth, while others take a more sanguine view. This debate is well summarised in Marsh and Zuleeg (2006). However, this is a debate in which the evidence is often not well marshalled and there is often more heat than light generated. There is a suspicion that arguments about the effect and role of the public sector often derive more from the ultimate values and political preferences of proponents than from hard analysis and evidence.