Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 749: Political Polarization and the Size of Government

Erik Lindqvist and Robert Östling ()
Additional contact information
Erik Lindqvist: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, sweden
Robert Östling: Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 6501,113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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

JEL-codes: H11; H20; H41

Language: English

32 pages, May 15, 2008

Full text files

wp749.pdf PDF-file 
supplementary_appendix_2008-10-10.xls Excel file Appendix 2008-10-10

Download statistics

Published as
Erik Lindqvist and Robert Östling, (2010), 'Political Polarization and the Size of Government', American Political Science Review, vol 104, no 3, pages 543-565

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2024-02-05 17:12:19.