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Ideology and the growth of US state government

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  • Andrew C. Pickering

    ()
    (University of York)

  • James Rockey

    ()
    (University of Leicester)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of ideology on the size of US state governments. Following Pickering and Rockey (2011) this impact is hypothesized to increase with mean state income. This idea is tested using state-level ideology data derived from the voting behavior of state congressional representatives. Empirically the interaction of ideology and mean income is a key determinant of state government size. At 1960s levels of income the impact of ideology is negligible. At 1997 levels of income a one standard-deviation move towards the left of the ideology spectrum increases state government size by about half a standard deviation. Estimated income elasticities differentiated by state and time are found to be increasing with ideology and diminishing with income, as predicted by the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2012/6.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2012/3/doc2012-6

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Related research

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

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References

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  1. Rogers, Diane Lim & Rogers, John H, 2000. " Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 1-21, October.
  2. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  4. Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2007. "Ideology and the Growth of Government," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 07/599, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Allan Meltzer & Scott Richard, 1983. "Tests of a rational theory of the size of government," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 403-418, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Bjørnskov, Christian & Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: Does party ideology matter?," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20275, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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