Term limits and state budgets

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Randall G. HolcombeFlorida State University, USA

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Robert J. GmeinerSunwater Institute, USA

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Term limits reduce the time horizon over which elected officials can capture and allocate government budgets, which reduces their incentive to increase government spending. An examination of US state government budgets before and after the implementation of term limits shows that prior to the implementation of term limits, state revenues and expenditures tended to grow at about the same rate in states that implemented term limits and those that did not. After the implementation of term limits, revenues and expenditures grew more slowly in states that implemented them. The reduction in the growth of state budgets after the implementation of term limits is both economically and statistically significant.

Randall G. HolcombeFlorida State University, USA

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Robert J. GmeinerSunwater Institute, USA

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