IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Separation of Powers and the Size of Government in the U.S. States

  • Leandro De Magalhães
  • Lucas Ferrero


Registered author(s):

    According to our model effective 'budgetary' separation of power occurs in the states with the line-item veto when the Governor is not aligned with the Legislature. Only then is the Legislature, which approves the budget and sets the tax level, not the full residual claimant of a tax release. The tax level is determined by the overlap between the supporters of the Governor and the supporters of the legislative majority. The model generates a discontinuous and non-linear relationship between the tax level and the degree of alignment between Governor and Legislature. We find support in the data for this non-linear relationship and show that the discontinuity can be interpreted as a causal effect.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 12/285.

    in new window

    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:12/285
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TX
    Phone: 0117 33 10799
    Fax: 0117 33 10705
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:1:p:399-422 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    4. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    5. repec:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:3:p:933-959 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Aidt, T.S. & Shvets, J., 2011. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Incentives: Evidence from Seven US State Legislatures," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1130, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Richard Schmalensee & Thomas M. Stoker, 1999. "Household Gasoline Demand in the United States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 645-662, May.
    9. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2006. "Separation of Powers and the Budget Process," CEPR Discussion Papers 5745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "Optimal bandwidth choice for the regression discontinuity estimator," CeMMAP working papers CWP05/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Estimating the Impact of Gubernatorial Partisanship on Policy Settings and Economic Outcomes: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 556, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    12. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
    13. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586115.
    14. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
    15. Burton Abrams & William Dougan, 1986. "The effects of constitutional restraints on governmental spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 101-116, January.
    16. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
    17. Alm, James & Evers, Mark, 1991. " The Item Veto and State Government Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 68(1-3), pages 1-15, January.
    18. Carter, John R & Schap, David, 1990. "Line-Item Veto: Where Is Thy Sting?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 103-18, Spring.
    19. Stephen Ansolabehere & James M. Snyder, 2006. "Party Control of State Government and the Distribution of Public Expenditures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 547-569, December.
    20. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:12/285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.