Ideology and the size of US state government

Andrew C. Pickering, James Rockey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper theorizes that the impact of ideology on the size of US state governments increases with 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-465
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Choice
Volume156
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Ideology
  • Size of government
  • Wagner's law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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