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Parties and institutions: empirical evidence on veto players and the growth of government

Authors
  • Hunnerup Dahl, Casper
Type
Published Article
Journal
Public Choice
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Aug 23, 2013
Volume
159
Issue
3-4
Pages
415–433
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0104-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Does the effective number of veto players in a political system explain the rate of government growth? Panel data analyses are conducted in order to test several measures of veto players against each other, and these results are compared with similar analyses of government fractionalization. The analyses indicate that veto players and especially government fractionalization exert a constraining effect on changes in the size of government, but also that the effect is not consistent over time: neither veto players in general nor fractionalization of government in particular exerted any constraining effect during the decades of rapid government growth due to welfare state creation and expansion in the 1960s and 1970s. The strength of government fractionalization vis-a-vis the veto player measures in explaining changes in the size of government suggest that the constellation of partisan veto players within coalition governments matters, while the effect of institutional veto players remains uncertain.

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