IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

On the size and growth of government

  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Russell M. Rhine

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.

If 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.

File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/06/01/GarrettRhine.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 13-30

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2006:i:jan:p:13-30:n:v.88no.1
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166
Fax: (314)444-8753
Web page: http://www.stlouisfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.stls.frb.org/research/order/pubform.html Email:


References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Dennis Mueller & Peter Murrell, 1986. "Interest groups and the size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 125-145, January.
  3. Kristov, L. & Lindert, P. & Mcclelland, R., 1990. "Pressure Groups And Redistribution," Papers 66, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  4. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  5. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  6. Gordon Tullock, 1959. "Problems of Majority Voting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 571.
  7. Allan Meltzer & Scott Richard, 1983. "Tests of a rational theory of the size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 403-418, January.
  8. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  9. R. G. Holcombe & D. J. Lacombe, 1998. "Interests Versus Ideology in the Ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 143-160, 07.
  10. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  11. James Bennett & Manuel Johnson, 1979. "Public versus private provision of collective goods and services: garbage collection revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 55-63, March.
  12. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  13. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell M. Rhine, 2005. "Social security versus private retirement accounts: a historical analysis," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 103-121.
  14. 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.
  15. Kevin L. Kliesen, 2003. "Big government the comeback kid?," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 4-9.
  16. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  17. Zax, Jeffrey S, 1989. "Is There a Leviathan in Your Neighborhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 560-67, June.
  18. Clarkson, Kenneth W, 1972. "Some Implications of Property Rights in Hospital Management," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 363-84, October.
  19. Baumol, William J, 1972. "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 150, March.
  20. Nelson, Michael A, 1987. "Searching for Leviathan: Comment and Extension," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 198-204, March.
  21. Martin, Dolores Tremewan & Wagner, Richard E, 1978. "The Institutional Framework for Municipal Incorporation: An Economic Analysis of Local Agency Formation Commissions in California," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 409-25, October.
  22. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  23. Anthony Downs, 1961. "Problems of Majority Voting: In Defense of Majority Voting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 192.
  24. Rogers Ahlbrandt, 1973. "Efficiency in the provision of fire services," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2006:i:jan:p:13-30:n:v.88no.1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Xiao)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.