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Ideology and the Growth of Government

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  • Andrew Pickering
  • James Rockey

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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, for whom private consumption is a necessity. Ideology is defined on preferences for public services and the impact of ideology upon the size of government increases with mean income. In empirical work ideology is measured using data based on party manifestos. Much of the increases and divergence in government size observed across OECD countries can be explained by the interaction of ideology and mean income.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series Bristol Economics Discussion Papers with number 07/599.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:07/599

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Keywords: ideology; Wagner's law; size of government;

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References

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  1. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Peacock, Alan & Scott, Alex, 2000. " The Curious Attraction of Wagner's Law," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 1-17, January.
  3. Persson, T. & Roland, G. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Papers 633, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 2002. " The Growth of Government:," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 389-402, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Baumol, William J, 1972. "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 150, March.
  7. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
  8. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
  2. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, . "Voting and the macroeconomy: separating trend from cycle," Discussion Papers 11/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. 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.
  4. François Facchini & Mickaël Melki, 2013. "Political Ideology and Economic Growth: Evidence from the French Democracy," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13077, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  5. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Sala, Davide, 2014. "Ethnic Diversity and Firms' Export Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ansgar Belke & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Does Government Ideology Matter in Monetary Policy?: A Panel Data Analysis for OECD Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1180, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  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. Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2013. "Ideology and the size of US state government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 443-465, September.
  9. 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.

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