Public Choice

, Volume 135, Issue 3–4, pp 415–448

Trending economic factors and the structure of Congress in the growth of government, 1930–2002

  • Stanley L. Winer
  • Michael W. Tofias
  • Bernard Grofman
  • John H. Aldrich

DOI: 10.1007/s11127-007-9270-x

Cite this article as:
Winer, S.L., Tofias, M.W., Grofman, B. et al. Public Choice (2008) 135: 415. doi:10.1007/s11127-007-9270-x


We investigate the role of Congress in the growth of federal public expenditure since 1930, building on the work of Kau and Rubin (Public Choice, 113:389–402, 2002). The model incorporates majority party strength and the extent of party control of Congress in addition to the median ideological position of elected representatives. We first provide estimates of the relative importance of the state of Congress and of trending supply and demand-side economic factors in the evolution of federal spending. The resulting models are then used to simulate the consequences of the radical and historically unprecedented shift to the right of Congress in 1994/95.


Public expenditure Congress Ideology Majority party strength Party control Female labor force participation Stationary versus trending variables 


H1 H3 H5 H6 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley L. Winer
    • 1
  • Michael W. Tofias
    • 2
  • Bernard Grofman
    • 3
  • John H. Aldrich
    • 4
  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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