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Political Polarization and the Size of Government

  • Lindqvist, Erik


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Östling, Robert


    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

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.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 628.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 19 May 2006
Date of revision: 02 Jul 2007
Publication status: Published in American Political Science Review, 2010, pages 543-565.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0628
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Raquel Fernández & Gilat Levy, 2005. "Diversity and Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 11570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  5. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Sacerdote, Burce, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Scholarly Articles 12502088, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
  9. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  11. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  12. Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore & de Tommaso, Giulio & Mukherjee, Amitabha, 1997. "An international statistical survey of government employment and wages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1806, The World Bank.
  13. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  14. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
  15. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Kevin Y Au, 1999. "Intra-cultural Variation: Evidence and Implications for International Business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(4), pages 799-812, December.
  17. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
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