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The Growth of Competitive Governments

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  • Albert Breton

Abstract

Consumers are indifferent about the provenance of the goods and services they consume. Given their information, income, and preferences, they choose from the lowest price source--with price defined to include transaction and deadweight costs. There are many supply sources: families, charitable and humanitarian organizations, cooperatives, business enterprises, and governments. These compete with each other. Competitive success is determined by comparative advantage, which in turn depends not only on differential economies of scale and other "standard" factors, but also on the differential capacity to control free riding and to reduce the deadweight burdens of the sums that have to be levied to pay for the goods and services demanded.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Breton, 1989. "The Growth of Competitive Governments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(4), pages 717-750, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:22:y:1989:i:4:p:717-50
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul Samuelson," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 7, number 0262015749 edited by Janice Murray.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:60:y:1966:i:01:p:29-38_12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. R. M. Cyert & M. H. DeGroot, 1970. "Multiperiod Decision Models with Alternating Choice as a Solution to the Duopoly Problem," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 410-429.
    4. J. W. Friedman, 1968. "Reaction Functions and the Theory of Duopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 257-272.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eloranta, Jari, 2004. "WARFARE AND WELFARE? Understanding 19th and 20th Century Central Government Spending," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 699, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. MacKenzie, D.W., 2008. "The use of knowledge about society," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 678-688, September.
    3. Bird, Richard, 1994. "Decentralizing infrastructure : for good or ill?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1258, The World Bank.
    4. Teng, Jimmy, 2012. "Military competition and size and composition of economy and government," MPRA Paper 37968, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Apr 2012.
    5. Thomas E. Borcherding & Dong Lee, 2002. "The Growth of the Relative Size of Government," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-05, Claremont Colleges.
    6. Christos Constantatos & Edwin G. West, 1991. "Measuring Returns from Education: Some Neglected Factors," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(2), pages 127-138, June.

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