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Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?

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  • Rogers, Diane Lim
  • Rogers, John H

Abstract

We test implications of political competition theory concerning government size, using data from U.S. states. We find that greater political competition in the race for governor acts as a check against bigger government. Evidence on the effectiveness of legal limits on expenditures and/or revenues growth is mixed. The Democratic Party is associated with bigger government, but only when party representation in both the governor's house and the legislature is strong. The flypaper effect of grants is found to be strong. Our results have implications for models of fiscal illusion. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Rogers, Diane Lim & Rogers, John H, 2000. "Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 1-21, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:105:y:2000:i:1-2:p:1-21
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Which Governors Are Proposing Spending Increases and Which are Proposing Cuts?
      by Matt Mitchell in Neighborhood Effects on 2011-06-04 00:02:59

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. Saibal Ghosh, 2010. "Does Political Competition Matter for Economic Performance? Evidence from Sub-national Data," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 58, pages 1030-1048, December.
    3. repec:kap:pubcho:v:174:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0491-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Raúl A. Ponce Rodríguez & Ikuho Kochi & Luis E. Gutiérrez Casas, 2015. "The structure of political power and redistribution in economies with multiple governments," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 30(2), pages 269-303.
    5. Timothy Besley & Ian Preston, 2007. "Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1473-1510.
    6. Grażyna Bukowska & Joanna Siwińska-Gorzelak, 2016. "Can fiscal decentralisation curb fiscal imbalances?," Working Papers 2016-35, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    7. Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 547-559, September.
    8. repec:kap:porgrv:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11115-016-0358-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. H. Erler, 2007. "Legislative term limits and state spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 479-494, December.
    10. Dalibor Eterovic & Nicolas Eterovic, 2010. "Political Competition vs. PoliticalParticipation: Effects on Government's Size," Working Papers wp_006, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    11. repec:kap:pubcho:v:175:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0519-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00800688 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. M. Alfano & A. Baraldi, 2015. "Is there an optimal level of political competition in terms of economic growth? Evidence from Italy," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 263-285, April.
    14. Andrew C. Pickering & James Rockey, 2012. "Ideology and the growth of US state government," Working Papers 2012/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Niklas Potrafke, 2017. "Government Ideology and Economic Policy-Making in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6444, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Albert Solé-Ollé, 2006. "The effects of party competition on budget outcomes: Empirical evidence from local governments in Spain," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 145-176, January.
    17. Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2013. "Ideology and the size of US state government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 443-465, September.
    18. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
    19. Aidt, T.S. & Eterovic, D.S., 2007. "Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0714, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    20. Eric Dubois & Matthieu Leprince & Sonia Paty, 2007. "The Effects of Politics on Local Tax Setting: Evidence from France," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(8), pages 1603-1618, July.
    21. Aidt, Toke S. & Eterovic, Dalibor S., 2011. "Political competition, electoral participation and public finance in 20th century Latin America," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 181-200, March.
    22. Rodriguez-Oreggia, Eduardo & Costa-Font, Joan & Luna Pla, Dario, 2002. "Political competition and the allocation of public investment in Mexico," ERSA conference papers ersa02p260, European Regional Science Association.
    23. Dalibor Eterovic & Toke Aidt, 2010. "Political Competition, Electoral Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Working Papers wp_001, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.

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