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Does Economic Sclerosis Set in with Age? An Empirical Study of the Olson Hypothesis

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  • Wallis, John Joseph
  • Oates, Wallace E

Abstract

Mancur Olson has suggested that the rate of economic growth declines as stable politics grow older, a proposition he tested using data from the United States in the 1960s. The authors reexamine Olson's hypothesis, using a large panel data set covering the twentieth century in the United States. They fail to find convincing evidence to support Olson's claim. The only specification that supports the hypothesis is one in which population movements are attributed wholly to Olson forces. The obstacles to testing the hypothesis are formidable because of the difficulty of separating migration into Olson and non-Olson components. Copyright 1988 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Wallis, John Joseph & Oates, Wallace E, 1988. "Does Economic Sclerosis Set in with Age? An Empirical Study of the Olson Hypothesis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 397-417.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:41:y:1988:i:3:p:397-417
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    Cited by:

    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    2. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1597-1616, September.
    3. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
    4. Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2002. "The effects of fiscal institutions on public finance: a survey of the empirical evidence," Chapters,in: Political Economy and Public Finance, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Lars Feld, 2014. "James Buchanan’s theory of federalism: from fiscal equity to the ideal political order," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 231-252, September.
    6. Boltho, Andrea & King, Robert, 1990. "Does high technology matter? An application to United States regional growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 547, The World Bank.
    7. Caporale, Tony & Leirer, Jonathan, 2010. "Take the money and run: Political turnover, rent-seeking and economic growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 406-412, November.
    8. Lars P. Feld & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2012. "Die Politische Ökonomik der Besteuerung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1-2), pages 116-136, February.
    9. Eduardo Pontual Ribeiro & Cláudio Djissey Shikida, 2000. "Existe trade-off entre receitas próprias e transferências? O caso dos municípios mineiros," Anais do IX Seminário sobre a Economia Mineira [Proceedings of the 9th Seminar on the Economy of Minas Gerais],in: João Antonio de Paula & et alli (ed.), Anais do IX Seminário sobre a Economia Mineira, volume 1, pages 441-462 Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    10. Randall W. Eberts & Timothy J. Gronberg, 1992. "Wagner's hypothesis: a local perspective," Working Paper 9202, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    11. Cole, Ismail M., 2014. "Short- and long-term growth effects of special interest groups in the U.S. states: A dynamic panel error-correction approach," MPRA Paper 54455, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Mar 2014.

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