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Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States


  • Gilligan, Thomas W
  • Matsusaka, John G


This paper investigates the determinants of state spending over 1960-90. Recent empirical studies suggest that state government expenditure is greater than the electorate desires. The authors' main finding is that expenditure was positively related to the number of seats in a state's legislature. This is consistent with the hypothesis that logrolling leads representatives to spend more than their constituents would like. The authors also find that political parties do not have a pronounced effect on overall levels of expenditure but do influence the composition of spending. In particular, Democratic control of state government is associated with higher levels of welfare spending. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:383-401

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hamilton, James D, 1992. "Was the Deflation during the Great Depression Anticipated? Evidence from the Commodity Futures Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 157-178, March.
    2. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    3. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    4. David C. Wheelock, 1992. "Monetary policy in the Great Depression: what the Fed did and why," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-28.
    5. Hafer, R W & Jansen, Dennis W, 1991. "The Demand for Money in the United States: Evidence from Cointegration Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 155-168, May.
    6. Ben Bernanke & Frederic Mishkin, 1992. "Central Bank Behavior and the Strategy of Monetary Policy: Observations from Six Industrialized Countries," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 183-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
    8. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Sources of Output Fluctuations during the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 80-102, February.
    9. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114.
    10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1993. "Unit roots in macroeconomic time series: some critical issues," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 13-44.
    11. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1, January.
    12. Boughton, James M & Wicker, Elmus R, 1979. "The Behavior of the Currency-Deposit Ratio during the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 405-418, November.
    13. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
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