Ideology and the size of US state government
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Pickering, A.C. & Rockey, J. Public Choice (2013) 156: 443. doi:10.1007/s11127-012-0026-x
- 663 Downloads
This paper theorizes that the impact of ideology on the size of US state governments increases with state income. This idea is tested using state-level ideology data derived from the voting behavior of state congressional representatives. Empirically the interaction of ideology and mean income is a key determinant of state government size. At 1960s levels of income the impact of ideology is negligible. At 1997 levels of income a one standard-deviation move towards the left of the ideology spectrum increases state government size by about half a standard deviation. Estimated income elasticities differentiated by state and time are found to be increasing with ideology and diminishing with income, as predicted by the theory.