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Has Leviathan Been Bound? A Theory of Imperfectly Constrained Government with Evidence from the States

Authors
Disciplines
  • Logic
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science

Abstract

This paper develops a formal theory that combines power-maximizing “Leviathan” political parties with well-defined imperfections in the political process. The model implies that both parties tend to make government larger as their likelihood of electoral victory increases. Empirical tests on state-level data confirm this prediction. Racing the Leviathan hypothesis against alternative theories of party motivation indicates that both the Leviathan and the “contrasting ideologies” views have some degree of validity.

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