Political polarization and the size of government

Research, Preprint English OPEN
Lindqvist, Erik ; Östling, Robert (2006)
  • Publisher: Stockholm: Stockholm School of Economics, The Economic Research Institute (EFI)
  • Subject: Social Capital | Sozialer Indikator | H10 | H11 | redistribution | Regierung | Political polarization | Öffentliche Verwaltung | Gesellschaftliches Bewusstsein | Welt | H41 | Political Polarization; Social Cohesion; Ethnic Fractionalization; Social Capital; Size of Government | H20 | size of government | social cohesion | Politische Kultur | Soziale Beziehungen | Vertrauen | Politische Partei | Ethnic Fractionalization | Wirtschaftslage
    • jel: jel:H20 | jel:H41 | jel:H11
      ddc: ddc:330

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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    Logarithm of total population in 2000. Source: World Bank (2009).

    Population density (people per sq. km) in 2000. Source: World Bank (2009).

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