The Labor Share and the Size of Government
AbstractThe size of government depends positively on the labor share given price-inelastic demand for public services. OECD data support this hypothesis and also show a stronger dependence under left-wing ideology because larger government employs a larger workforce. A permanent one standard deviation increase in the labor share is found on average to increase government size by about 9% of GDP, with increases of 6% in right-wing countries and 12% in left-wing countries. Contrary to Baumol's cost-disease the relationship is estimated to be independent of income. Recent reductions in the labor-share have substantially slowed the growth of government in many countries.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 13/02.
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/
More information through EDIRC
Size of government; labor share; Baumol's cost disease;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
- H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-02-03 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2013-02-03 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bentolila Samuel & Saint-Paul Gilles, 2003.
"Explaining Movements in the Labor Share,"
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics,
De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-33, October.
- Samuel Bentolila & Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "Explaining movements in the labor share," Economics Working Papers 374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Bentollia, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1999. "Explaining Movements in the Labor Share," Papers 9905, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
- Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1998. "Explaining Movements in the Labour Share," CEPR Discussion Papers 1958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stanley Winer & Michael Tofias & Bernard Grofman & John Aldrich, 2008. "Trending economic factors and the structure of Congress in the growth of government, 1930–2002," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 415-448, June.
- Kiviet, Jan F., 1995.
"On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
- Tom Doan, . "LSDVC: RATS procedure to estimate a dynamic FE model with correction for bias," Statistical Software Components RTS00111, Boston College Department of Economics.
- West, Edwin G., 1991. "Secular cost changes and the size of government : Towards a generalized theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 363-381, August.
- Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2007.
"Ideology and the Growth of Government,"
Bristol Economics Discussion Papers
07/599, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Ferris, J Stephen & West, Edwin G, 1999. " Cost Disease versus Leviathan Explanations of Rising Government Cost: An Empirical Investigation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 307-16, March.
- James Buchanan & Gordon Tullock, 1977. "The expanding public sector: Wagner squared," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 147-150, September.
- Magnus Henrekson & Johan Lybeck, 1988. "Explaining the growth of government in Sweden: A disequilibrium approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 213-232, June.
- Shelton, Cameron A., 2007. "The size and composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2230-2260, December.
- Cameron A. Shelton, 2007. "The Size and Composition of Government Expenditure," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2007-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
- Borcherding, Thomas E., 1985. "The causes of government expenditure growth: A survey of the U.S. evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 359-382, December.
- Thomas E. Borcherding & J. Stephen Ferris & Andrea Garzoni, 2001.
"Growth in the Real Size of Government since 1970,"
Claremont Colleges Working Papers
2001-30, Claremont Colleges.
- Elsa Pilichowski & Edouard Turkisch, 2008. "Employment in Government in the Perspective of the Production Costs of Goods and Services in the Public Domain," OECD Working Papers on Public Governance 8, OECD Publishing.
- Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005.
"Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models,"
Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
- Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2004. "Approximating the Bias of the LSDV Estimator for Dynamic Unbalanced Panel Data Models," KITeS Working Papers 159, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2004.
- Edwin G. West, 1991. "Secular Cost Changes and the Size of Government : Towards a generalized Theory," Carleton Economic Papers 91-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 1991.
- James Kau & Paul Rubin, 1981. "The size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 261-274, January.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- How the wage squeeze helps the Tories
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-02-09 13:36:20
- On the causality between the labor income share and the size of governments
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-02-14 15:17:00
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paul Hodgson).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.