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Political Polarization and the Size of Government

  • Lindqvist, Erik

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Östling, Robert

    ()

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

We study the effect of political polarization on government spending and redistribution using the dispersion of self-reported political preferences as our measure of polarization. Politically polarized countries have lower levels of redistribution and government consumption. The relationship between political polarization and the size of government is stronger in democratic countries, indicating that the effect goes through the political system. The results are robust to a large set of controlvariables, including GDP per capita and income inequality.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 749.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 15 May 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Lindqvist, Erik and Robert Östling, 'Political Polarization and the Size of Government' in American Political Science Review, 2010, pages 543-565.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0749
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 665 4500
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Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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