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Political Accountability and the Size of Government: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence

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  • David Dreyer Lassen

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of political accountability on the size of the public sector in a principal-agent model of democratic government. Political accountability is the degree to which the electorate can control politicians through elections, and emphasis is put on the roles of transparency and political contestability. Increasing transparency and political contestability increases the control of politicians, which makes public goods provision more attractive to voters, increasing the size of government. The prediction of the model is strongly supported by robust empirical evidence from a cross section of 62 democratic countries in 1995.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 00-20.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:00-20

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Cited by:
  1. Abel Escribà-Folch, 2009. "Do authoritarian institutions mobilize economic cooperation?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 71-93, March.
  2. Horacio L. P. Piffano, 2007. "Argentina and Brazil: Fiscal Harmonization and Subnational Sales Taxation – State / Provincial VAT versus State / Provincial Retail Sales Tax," Department of Economics, Working Papers 069, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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