Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) Working Paper Series

No 749:
Political Polarization and the Size of Government

Erik Lindqvist () and Robert Ístling ()

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Political Polarization; Social Cohesion; Ethnic Fractionalization; Social Capital; Size of Government; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H11; H20; H41; (follow links to similar papers)

32 pages, May 15, 2008

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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, No. 3, pages 543-565

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