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Government growth in the twenty-first century

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  • Randall Holcombe

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Abstract

Public choice explanations of government growth fall into three main categories: budget-maximization theories, rational-choice models, and path-dependent models like the “ratchet hypothesis”. The strengths and weaknesses of these theories as explanations for government growth are considered along with some facts about the actual growth of government to conjecture about its trajectory in the twenty-first century. Government size seems to have been constrained in the past primarily by its ability to raise revenue. Growth rates in the new century thus appear to depend on factors constraining government’s ability to continue to expand the tax base. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-4748-x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 124 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 95-114

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:95-114

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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  1. Holcombe, Randall G. & Lacombe, Donald J., 2001. "The Growth Of Local Government In The United States From 1820 To 1870," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(01), pages 184-189, March.
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  15. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  16. Randall G. Holcombe & Donald J. Lacombe, 2004. "Factors Underlying the Growth of Local Government in the 19th Century United States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(3_4), pages 359-377, 09.
  17. Randall Holcombe, 1989. "The median voter model in public choice theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 115-125, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Russell Sobel & George Crowley, 2014. "Do intergovernmental grants create ratchets in state and local taxes?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 167-187, January.
  2. Thomas A. Garrett & Andrew F. Kozak & Russell M. Rhine, 2010. "Institutions and government growth: a comparison of the 1890s and the 1930s," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 109-120.
  3. Durevall, Dick & Henrekson, Magnus, 2010. "The Futile Quest for a Grand Explanation of Long-Run Government Expenditure," Working Papers in Economics 428, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2011.
  4. Edward Stringham, 2014. "Gary Chartier, Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and politics for a stateless society," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 581-583, June.
  5. Stanley L. Winer & Michael W. Tofias & Bernard Grofman & John H. Aldrich, 2007. "Is it Economics or Politics? Trending Economic Factors and the Structure of Congress in the Growth of Government, 1930-2002 – revised version: Trending Economic Factors and the Structure of Congress," Carleton Economic Papers 07-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 17 Jan 2008.
  6. Facchini, Francois, 2014. "The determinants of public spending: a survey in a methodological perspective," MPRA Paper 53006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Bos, Frits, 2006. "De Nederlandse collectieve uitgaven in historisch perspectief
    [Dutch public expenditure in historical perspective]
    ," MPRA Paper 40602, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Albanese, Giuseppe & Modica, Salvatore, 2010. "Co-movement of public spending in the G7," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 121-123, November.

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