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Autocratic, Democratic, and Optimal Government

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  • Niskanen, William A
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    Abstract

    All types of government face two major fiscal decisions: the level of government services and the average tax rate. This paper develops models of autocratic, democratic, and optimal government. The effects of alternative government structures are estimated using a common set of parameters based on U.S. data. Output and government services are higher in a democracy than in an autocracy, but the tax rate is lower. Output is even higher with an optimal government and both government services and the tax rate are lower. The relative outcomes in any government depend strongly on the fiscal horizon of those who govern. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 35 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 464-79

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:35:y:1997:i:3:p:464-79

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    Cited by:
    1. Deacon, Robert & Saha, Sarani, 2005. "Public Good Provision by Dictatorships: A Survey," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt1jk5b0vr, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan & Kevin K. Tsui, 2008. "Political Entry, Public Policies, and the Economy," NBER Working Papers 13830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?," Discussion Papers 0304-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mulligan Casey B & Gil Ricard & Sala-i-Martin Xavier X, 2010. "Social Security and Democracy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-46, March.
    5. Jennis J. BISER & Jeffrey A. EDWARDS, 2012. "Civil Liberties and Access to Water: Analysis of 193 Countries," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(1).
    6. Thomas Bernauer & Vally Koubi, 2013. "Are bigger governments better providers of public goods? Evidence from air pollution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 593-609, September.

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