A body of influential research has suggested that there is a negative association between country size and government size and between country size and openness, and these may account for the positive association between openness and government size. Estimation of several models from 41-year panel data for over 150 countries indicates that while pooled OLS estimates support the foregoing scenario, when cross-country heterogeneity is taken into consideration through the fixed-effects format, there is little evidence of a negative association of country size with either government size or openness. Therefore, it does not seem likely that positive association between openness and government size arises due to the mediating role of country size.
Source / Citation
Ram, R. 2009. "Openness, country size, and government size: Additional evidence from a large cross-country panel," Journal of Public Economics, 93(1-2): 213-221.