Does the Gubernatorial Term Limit Type Affect State Government Expenditures?
Political institutions within a society often serve to create the rules governing economic actions, to establish norms of economic behavior, and ultimately to help explain the relative economic performance of society. Institutions like budgetary constraints, party ideology, term limits, and voting methods have been analyzed with emphasis on the interplay of politics and economics. Within this field, we believe that the study of term limits is of particular importance. Hence, this article empirically investigates the link between the different types of gubernatorial term limits and state expenditures, after controlling for political institutions. Using panel data from thirty-seven U.S. states between 1971 and 2005, we find that all three types of term limits (weak, moderate, and strong) have a positive impact on gubernatorial spending. However, only weak and moderate term limits are statistically significant, suggesting that the more lenient is the constraint on the governor the greater is the impetus to spend.
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