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The size and scope of government in the US states: Does party ideology matter?

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  • Christian Bjørnskov
  • Niklas Potrafke

Abstract

We investigate empirically how party ideology influences size and scope of government as measured by the size of government, tax structure and labor market regulation. Our dataset comprises 49 US states over the 1993–2009 period. We employ the new data on the ideological mapping of US legislatures by Shor and McCarty (2011) that considers spatial and temporal differences in Democratic and Republican Party ideology. We distinguish between three types of divided government: overall divided government, proposal division and approval division. The main result suggests that Republican governors have been more active in deregulating labor markets. We find that ideology-induced policies were counteracted under overall divided government and proposal division.

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  • Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: Does party ideology matter?," ifo Working Paper Series 162, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_162
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Size and scope of government; party ideology; partisan politics; divided; government; US states; panel data.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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