Abstract: This paper develops a formal theory that combines power-maximizing "Leviathan" political parties with well-defined imperfections in the political process. The model implies that both parties tend to make government larger as their likelihood of electoral victory increases. Empirical tests on state-level data confirm this prediction. Racing the Leviathan hypothesis against alternatives theories of party motivation indicates that both the Leviathan and the "contrasting ideologies" views have some degree of validity.
Has Leviathan Been Bound?
A Theory of Imperfectly Constrained Government with Evidence from the States
WORKING PAPER #3