Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 628:
Political Polarization and the Size of Government

Erik Lindqvist () and Robert Ístling ()

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Political polarization; social cohesion; size of government; redistribution; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H10; H20; H41; (follow links to similar papers)

47 pages, May 19, 2006, Revised August 18, 2009

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This paper is published as:
Lindqvist, Erik and Robert Ístling, (2010), 'Political Polarization and the Size of Government', American Political Science Review, Vol. 104, August, No. 3, pages 543-565

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