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Democratization and the size of government: evidence from the long 19th century

Author

Listed:
  • Toke Aidt

    ()

  • Peter Jensen

    ()

Abstract

We study the consequences of franchise extension and ballot reform for the size of government in Western Europe between 1820 and 1913. We find that franchise extension exhibits a U-shaped association with revenue per capita and a positive association with spending per capita. Instrumental variables estimates, however, suggest that the U-shaped relationship may be non-causal and our fixed effects estimates point to substantial cross-country heterogeneity. Further, we find that the secret ballot did not matter for tax revenues per capita but might have expanded the size of government relative to GDP. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2013. "Democratization and the size of government: evidence from the long 19th century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 511-542, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:157:y:2013:i:3:p:511-542
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0073-y
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammed N. Islam, 2016. "Does democracy reduce income inequality?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(4), pages 1299-1318, December.
    2. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:180-207 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kotera, Go & Okada, Keisuke, 2015. "How Does Democratization Affect the Composition of Government Expenditure?," MPRA Paper 67085, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eee:poleco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:regeco:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:38-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Do dictatorships redistribute more?," Working Papers 2015001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    7. Morten Endrikat, 2017. "Natural resource rents, autocracy and the composition of government spending," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201727, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    8. Md. Rabiul Islam & Jakob Brochner Madsen & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2016. "Does Inequality Constrain the Power to Tax? Evidence from the OECD," Monash Economics Working Papers 29-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    9. Aidt, Toke S. & Mooney, Graham, 2014. "Voting suffrage and the political budget cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902–1937," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 53-71.
    10. repec:kap:copoec:v:29:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9255-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:145-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Toke Aidt & Graham Mooney, 2014. "Voter suffrage and the political budget cycle: evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1401, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Antonis Adam & Sofia Tsarsitalidou, 2018. "Do democracies have higher current account deficits?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 40-68, March.
    14. Toke Aidt & Graham Mooney, 2014. "Voting Suffrage and the Political Budget Cycle: Evidence from the London Metropolitan Boroughs 1902-1937," CESifo Working Paper Series 4614, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. repec:cpn:umkdem:v:17:y:2017:p:19-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Verena Kroth & Valentino Larcinese & Joachim Wehner, 2016. "A Better Life for All? Democratization and Electrification in Post-Apartheid South Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 60, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    17. Galindo-Silva, Hector, 2015. "New parties and policy outcomes: Evidence from Colombian local governments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 86-103.
    18. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Suffrage; Threat of revolution; Taxation; Size of government; D7; P16;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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