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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.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 33 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 383-401

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:383-401
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