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Political competition, policy and growth: theory and evidence from the United States

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  • Besley, Timothy
  • Persson, Torsten
  • Sturm, Daniel

Abstract

This paper develops a simple model to analyze how a lack of political competition may lead to policies that hinder economic growth. We test the predictions of the model on panel data for the US states. In these data, we find robust evidence that lack of political competition in a state is associated with anti-growth policies: higher taxes, lower capital spending and a reduced likelihood of using right-to-work laws. We also document a strong link between low political competition and low income growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel, 2010. "Political competition, policy and growth: theory and evidence from the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 121718, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:121718
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    political competition; competition; government; US; economic development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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