Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 7-25-2007

Abstract

Supporters of legislative term limits often claim that they will lower state spending levels. Using fiscal data from 48 states from 1977 to 2001, this paper finds little support for this assertion. Instead, this analysis finds that states with term limits have higher spending levels than states without term limits. These results suggest that term limits give legislators greater incentives to deviate from socially optimal fiscal policy by altering the legislative environment in which such policy is formulated.

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