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Ideology and the growth of US state government

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew C. Pickering

    () (University of York)

  • James Rockey

    () (University of Leicester)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of ideology on the size of US state governments. Following Pickering and Rockey (2011) this impact is hypothesized to increase with mean state income. This idea is tested using state-level ideology data derived from the voting behavior of state congressional representatives. Empirically the interaction of ideology and mean income is a key determinant of state government size. At 1960s levels of income the impact of ideology is negligible. At 1997 levels of income a one standard-deviation move towards the left of the ideology spectrum increases state government size by about half a standard deviation. Estimated income elasticities differentiated by state and time are found to be increasing with ideology and diminishing with income, as predicted by the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew C. Pickering & James Rockey, 2012. "Ideology and the growth of US state government," Working Papers 2012/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2012/3/doc2012-6
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    File URL: http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2012/3/Doc2012-6.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:04:p:1243-1261_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Allan Meltzer & Scott Richard, 1983. "Tests of a rational theory of the size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 403-418, January.
    4. Andrew Pickering & James Rockey, 2011. "Ideology and the Growth of Government," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 907-919, August.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:03:p:729-750_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    7. Rogers, Diane Lim & Rogers, John H, 2000. "Political Competition and State Government Size: Do Tighter Elections Produce Looser Budgets?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 1-21, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    2. François Facchini & Mickael Melki, 2014. "Political Ideology And Economic Growth: Evidence From The French Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1408-1426, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ideology; Wagner's law; size of government;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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