Public Choice

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 47–58

Empirical evidence on the publicness of state legislative activities

  • Randall G. Holcombe
  • Russell S. Sobel

DOI: 10.1007/BF01047682

Cite this article as:
Holcombe, R.G. & Sobel, R.S. Public Choice (1995) 83: 47. doi:10.1007/BF01047682


Legislation would be a Samuelsonian public good if the cost of creating legislation is not a function of the number of people covered by the legislation. A straighforward test of Samuelsonian publicness is undertaken by estimating the cost of producing legislation as a function of population and other variables, using cross-sectional data from the states of the United States for the years 1965, 1975, and 1985. The empirical results indicate that while legislation does have some degree of publicness, legislation is mostly a private good, and that it has been becoming increasingly less public over time.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randall G. Holcombe
    • 1
  • Russell S. Sobel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsFlorida State UniversityTallahassee

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