Accounting for the Growth of Government

with Gary S. Becker


Why has government grown in so many countries during the 20th century? We present a simple model of political competition and show how different sources of the growth of government have different effects on the amount and structure of taxes, spending, and regulatory programs undertaken by the government. Those sources include: demographic shifts, more efficient taxes, more efficient spending, a shift in the "political power" from those taxed to those subsidized, shifts in political power among taxed groups, and shifts in political power among subsidized groups.

© copyright 1998 by Gary S. Becker and Casey B. Mulligan.