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
Date Written: October 13, 2011
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: Suggested Citation