Does Urbanization Mean Bigger Governments?

Michael Jetter, Christopher Parmeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce urbanization as an important driver of government size. Using panel data for 175 countries from 1960 to 2010, we find that there is a close link between urbanization and the size of the public sector, especially when looking at education, health care, and social issues. Various robustness checks confirm this finding. An analysis of state-level public spending in Colombia and Germany confirms our hypothesis on the subnational level. On the microeconomic level, people in urban areas acknowledge that governments should take more responsibility, and they are more in favor of redistribution. This finding can help to explain the evolution of government size, and it can also predict the present and future needs of urbanizing areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1228
Number of pages27
JournalScandinavian Journal of Economics
Volume120
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Fingerprint

Government
Size of government
Urbanization
Healthcare
Responsibility
Education
Public sector
Germany
Panel data
Redistribution
Microeconomics
Social issues
Colombia
Urban areas
Public spending
Robustness

Keywords

  • Government size
  • population concentration
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Does Urbanization Mean Bigger Governments? / Jetter, Michael; Parmeter, Christopher.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 120, No. 4, 01.10.2018, p. 1202-1228.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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