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A distributional theory of government growth

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  • Holger Strulik

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Abstract

This paper presents a closed form solution for time-consistent taxation and public spending in a dynamic game between government and median voter. Extending Meltzer and Richard’s static analysis of government size the paper offers a theory of growth of government. At low stages of economic development the median voter, identified as a relatively poor worker, prefers to have no or only small redistributive taxation in order to foster savings. Through this channel he expects improvements of his labor productivity and wage. At higher stages of development, however, when capital is relatively abundant and prospects of further labor productivity gains through capital accumulation are smaller, the incentive to tax and redistribute income rises. Yet, in line with previous work on growth and infrastructure spending the median voter prefers a constant share of productive public spending at all times. Hence, government growth is solely driven by an expanding welfare state.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 132 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 305-318

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:132:y:2007:i:3:p:305-318

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

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Keywords: Redistribution; Government growth; Welfare state; Markov–perfect equilibrium;

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References

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  18. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Bredemeier, 2014. "Imperfect information and the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 561-576, June.
  2. Andreas Georgiadis & Alan Manning, 2007. "Spend it like Beckham? Inequality and redistribution in the UK, 1983-2004," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19697, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Holger Stichnoth, 2012. "Does immigration weaken natives’ support for the unemployed? Evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 631-654, June.
  4. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Blanca Moreno-Dodson & VIoleta Vulovic, 2012. "The Impact of Tax and Expenditure Policies on Income Distribution: Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1225, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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