War, Democracy, and Government Size Over the Long Run: A Structural Breaks Analysis
39 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009 Last revised: 15 Apr 2010
Date Written: August 27, 2009
This paper examines the links between warfare, democracy, and government size over the long run, from the early nineteenth century to the present. We assemble new time series for government size for eight European countries. We then examine individual data trends using a combination of narrative and statistical techniques. Our key methodological contribution is to employ structural breaks tests, which assume no a priori knowledge of major turning points in the time series, but let the data ``speak" for themselves. Our results indicate that warfare, and not franchise extension, is the key driver of long-run increases in government size.
Keywords: wars, voting franchise, government size, structural breaks tests, European history
JEL Classification: C19, P16, H50, N4
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