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On the size and growth of government

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Russell M. Rhine

Abstract

The size of the U.S. federal government, as well as state and local governments, increased dramatically during the 20th century. This paper reviews several theories of government size and growth that are dominant in the public choice and political science literature. The theories are divided into two categories: citizen-over-state theories and state-over-citizen theories. The relationship between the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the timing of government growth is also presented. It is likely that portions of each theory can explain government size and growth, but the challenge facing economists is to develop a single unifying theory of government growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Garrett & Russell M. Rhine, 2006. "On the size and growth of government," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 13-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2006:i:jan:p:13-30:n:v.88no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Guerrero & Elliott Parker, 2007. "The Effect of Federal Government Size on Long-Term Economic Growth in the United States, 1792-2004," Working Papers 07-002, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    2. Magazzino, Cosimo & Forte, Francesco, 2010. "Optimal size of government and economic growth in EU-27," MPRA Paper 26669, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Albanese, Giuseppe & Modica, Salvatore, 2010. "Co-movement of public spending in the G7," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 121-123, November.
    4. Roberta da Silva Vieira, 2009. "O Tamanho do Setor Público no Contexto do Federalismo: Um Modelo Aplicado aos Municípios Brasileiros," Discussion Papers 1415, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.

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