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Legislative Professionalism and Government Spending: Do Citizen Legislators Really Spend Less?


  • Stephanie Owings

    (U.S. Naval Academy)

  • Rainald Borck

    (Humboldt University, Berlin)


In this article, the authors consider the effect of legislative professionalism on state government spending. Arguments are examined for why citizen legislatures should have systematically different spending patterns than professional ones. Using data from the U.S. states, the authors find that state government expenditure per capita is significantly lower the less professionalized the state legislature. They conclude that reducing legislative professionalism is one of the instruments citizens may use to contain the growth of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Owings & Rainald Borck, 2000. "Legislative Professionalism and Government Spending: Do Citizen Legislators Really Spend Less?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 28(3), pages 210-225, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:28:y:2000:i:3:p:210-225

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