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

  • Aidt, T.S.
  • Eterovic, D.S.

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.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0714.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0714
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