Do Information Technology Investments Lead to Bigger or Smaller Governments? - Theory and Evidence in U.S. State Governments
34 Pages Posted: 28 May 2010 Last revised: 30 Jul 2015
Date Written: January 10, 2011
Government growth has been a long-standing research issue among public economists as well as an important concern of the general public. We investigate the impact of government IT investments on government growth. Drawing on the literature on public economics, political sciences, and IT value, we offer theoretical discussions and four mechanisms as to the relationship between IT investments and government expenditures, leading to propose the two competing hypotheses that IT investments either expand or shrink the amount of government expenditures. We test which prediction prevails in the context of U.S. state government with data on IT investments, state government finances, demography, and other institutional and socio-economical factors. The empirical investigations support the hypothesis that greater IT investments are associated with smaller state government size as a ratio to state gross domestic product.
Keywords: IT Value, Government Growth, U.S State Government, Theory of Bureaucracy
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