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Political Polarization and the Size of Government

Author

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  • Lindqvist, Erik

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Östling, Robert

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We study the effect of political polarization on public spending using the dispersion of self-reported political preferences as our measure of polarization. Political polarization is strongly associated with smaller government in democratic countries, but there is no relationship between polarization and the size of government in undemocratic countries. The results are robust to a large set of control variables, including GDP per capita and income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2006. "Political Polarization and the Size of Government," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 628, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 18 Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0628
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political polarization; social cohesion; size of government; redistribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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