Parties and institutions: empirical evidence on veto players and the growth of government
Does the effective number of veto players in a political system explain the rate of government growth? Panel data analyses are conducted in order to test several measures of veto players against each other, and these results are compared with similar analyses of government fractionalization. The analyses indicate that veto players and especially government fractionalization exert a constraining effect on changes in the size of government, but also that the effect is not consistent over time: neither veto players in general nor fractionalization of government in particular exerted any constraining effect during the decades of rapid government growth due to welfare state creation and expansion in the 1960s and 1970s. The strength of government fractionalization vis-a-vis the veto player measures in explaining changes in the size of government suggest that the constellation of partisan veto players within coalition governments matters, while the effect of institutional veto players remains uncertain. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
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