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Ideology and the Growth of Government

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  • Andrew Pickering

    (University of Bristol)

  • James Rockey

    (University of Leicester)

Abstract

We analyze the impact of ideology on the size of government. In a simple model, the government sets redistribution and provision of public services according to the preferences of the median voter. Ideology is defined in terms of preferences for public services, and the impact of ideology on the size of government is shown to increase with mean income. This idea is tested using measures of ideology based on party manifestos. We show that the interaction of ideology and mean income has a major role in explaining the increase and divergence in government size observed across OECD countries. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 907-919

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:3:p:907-919

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References

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  1. Persson, T. & Roland, G. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Papers 633, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Baumol, William J, 1972. "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 150, March.
  3. Peacock, Alan & Scott, Alex, 2000. " The Curious Attraction of Wagner's Law," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 1-17, January.
  4. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Angeletos, George-Marios & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," Scholarly Articles 4553009, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't The US Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1933, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  8. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 2002. " The Growth of Government:," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 389-402, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Ansgar Belke & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Does Government Ideology Matter in Monetary Policy? – A Panel Data Analysis for OECD Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0094, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The Size and Scope of Government in the US States: Does Party Ideology Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4246, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. François Facchini & Mickaël Melki, 2013. "Political Ideology and Economic Growth: Evidence from the French Democracy," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00917617, HAL.
  4. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Sala, Davide, 2014. "Ethnic Diversity and Firms' Export Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Florian Chatagny, 2013. "Incentive Effects of Fiscal Rules on the Finance Minister’s Behaviour: Evidence from Revenue Projections in Swiss Cantons," KOF Working papers 13-347, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  6. François Facchini & Mickael Melki & Andrew Pickering, 2013. "The Labor Share and the Size of Government," Discussion Papers 13/02, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Andrew C. Pickering & James Rockey, 2012. "Ideology and the growth of US state government," Working Papers 2012/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, . "Voting and the macroeconomy: separating trend from cycle," Discussion Papers 11/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2013. "Ideology and the size of US state government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 443-465, September.

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