Are Powerful Majorities Inefficient for Parties and Efficient for Taxpayers? An Analysis of Budget Maximization in the U.S.

23 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2011 Last revised: 16 Oct 2011

See all articles by David T. Mitchell

David T. Mitchell

University of Central Arkansas

Danny R. Hughes

Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

Noel D. Campbell

University of Central Arkansas

Date Written: October 13, 2011

Abstract

Recent studies examining the relationship between legislative majorities and state budgets have presented mixed results. We provide new insight on this relationship by employing stochastic frontier analysis to model the maximum potential budgets that could be feasibly produced given a set of economic, political, and voter inputs. This allows us to examine directly how the size of ruling party majorities influences their ability to efficiently produce the maximum feasible budget. We find that as parties consolidate power with large majorities – regardless of party identity – they are less able to maximize budgets leading to state budgets below the maximum possible size of government as estimated by our model.

Keywords: State government, budgets, stochastic frontier analysis, political party control, majority size, effects of political party

JEL Classification: H11, H19, H70

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, David T. and Hughes, Danny R. and Campbell, Noel D., Are Powerful Majorities Inefficient for Parties and Efficient for Taxpayers? An Analysis of Budget Maximization in the U.S. (October 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1943572 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1943572

David T. Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Central Arkansas ( email )

201 Donagehy Ave.
Conway, AR 72035-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://uca.edu/efirm/facultystaff/dmitchell/

Danny R. Hughes

Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute ( email )

1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191
United States

Noel D. Campbell

University of Central Arkansas ( email )

Conway, AR 72032
United States
(501)852-7743 (Phone)

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