Legitimitet og den statslige byrde

Sammen med Niclas Berggren og David Lipka, har jeg et nyt working paper ude i IFN’s serie (læs her). Historien er, at vi har set på, om en stor offentlig sektor er mere eller mindre negativt forbundet med økonomisk vækst, når befolkningen opfatter staten som mere legitim. Legitimitet opfattes normalt som et absolut gode, men papiret udfordrer dette synspunkt. Spørgsmålet er, om en legitim stat måske er mere effektiv, eller om legitimitet tillader politikerne at føre mere populistisk og økonomisk skadelig politik. Abstractet er her:

While previous research documents a negative relationship between government size and economic growth, suggesting an economic cost of big government, a given government size generally affects growth differently in different countries. As a possible explanation of this differential effect, we explore whether perceived government legitimacy (measured by satisfaction with the way democracy works) influences how a certain government size affects growth.

On the positive side, a legitimate government may “get away” with being big since legitimacy can affect people’s behavioral response to, and therefore the economic growth cost of, taxation and government expenditures.

On the negative side, legitimacy may make voters less prone to acquire information, which in turn facilitates interest-group oriented or populist policies that harm growth. A panel-data analysis of up to 30 developed countries, in which two different measures of the size of government are interacted with government legitimacy, reveals that legitimacy exacerbates a negative growth effect of government size in the long run.

This could be interpreted as governments taking advantage of legitimacy in order to secure short-term support at a long-term cost to the economy.

1 thought on “Legitimitet og den statslige byrde

  1. Lasse Aaskoven

    Virkeligt interessant. I forhold til jeres tese om vælgernes information kunne det tænkes at eks. forskelle i finanspolitiske institutioner, herunder budgettransparens kunne være én del af historien?

    Det kunne være interessant at se hvordan resultaterne ville blive med introduktion af mål for finanspolitisk transparens. Lav finanspolitisk transparens synes i hvert fald at være associeret med mere opportunistisk finanspolitik http://www.econ.ku.dk/eprn_epru/journal_articles/j.1540-5907.2006.00200.pdf

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