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Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America

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  • Aidt, T.S.
  • Eterovic, D.S.

Abstract

Rational choice models predict that political competition and political participation have opposite effects on the size of government. We investigate these theories using data from a panel of 18 Latin American countries during the 20th century. Our research builds evidence for the prediction that reforms enhancing political competition tend to limit the size of government, while reforms increasing political participation tend to increase the size of government. Furthermore, we find that reforms which remove literacy requirements from franchise laws are associated with governmental expansion, while changes in women.s su¤rage laws have no impact on the size of government. Our findings demonstrate the empirical relevance of the distinction between political competition and participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Aidt, T.S. & Eterovic, D.S., 2007. "Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0714, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0714
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    3. Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2009. "Tax structure, size of government, and the extension of the voting franchise in Western Europe, 1860–1938," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 362-394, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political competition; political participation; the extension of the franchise; women.s su¤rage; literacy requirements; size of government; school enrollment.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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