War and the growth of government

Colin O'Reilly, Benjamin Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper empirically examines how wars impact the size and scope of government using a panel of all wars from 1965 to 2010. Higgs (1987) gives us reason to believe that wars may permanently increase government size and scope while Olson (1982) describes how wars can dislodge interest groups and allow for market liberalizing reforms. We find that wars permanently expand the scope of government regulation but do not impact government size systematically across the countries we study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Economic freedom
  • H11
  • H12
  • Institutional change
  • N40
  • P48
  • Size of government
  • War


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