• Nicholas Apergis University of Piraeus
Keywords: Economic freedom, Political councils, Regression discontinuity approach, UK Countries


Using a panel of the UK counties, spanning the period 2010-2016, this study explores
whether having a Labour or Conservative council affects a county’s economic freedom.
Due to data unavailability of any economic freedom index for the UK counties,
the analysis employed direct measures in relevance to three sub-components of
economic freedom, i.e. size of government, sound money and the freedom to trade
internationally. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find strong evidence
that the political ideology of a council affects all three sub-components of economic
freedom. An implication of this result is that councils appeal to specific groups of
voters when making policy.


Download data is not yet available.


Besley, T., & Case, A. (1995). Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110, 669-797.
Besley, T., & Case, A. (2003). Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States. Journal of Economic Literature, 41, 7-73.
Berggren, N. (1999). Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes? Public Choice, 100, 203-223.
Blais, A., Blake, D., & Dion, S. (1993). Do Parties Make a Difference? Parties and the Size of Government in Liberal Democracies. American Journal of Political Science, 37, 40-62.
Bjornskov, C., & Potrafke, N. (2013). The Size and Scope of Government in the US States: Does Party Ideology Matter? International Tax and Public Finance, 20, 687-714.
Campbell, N., Finney, R., & Mitchell, D. (2007). Hunting the Whale: More Evidence on State Government Leviathans. Southern Economic Journal, 74, 566-580.
Caplan, B. (2001). Has Leviathan Been Bond? A Theory of Imperfectly Constrained Government with Evidence from the States. Southern Economic Journal, 16, 825-847.
Carter, J. (2007). An Empirical Note on Economic Freedom and Income Inequality. Public Choice, 130, 163-177.
Compton, R., Giedeman, D., & Hoover, G. (2011). Panel Evidence on Economic Freedom and Growth in the United States. European Journal of Political Economy, 27, 423-435.
Compton, R., Giedeman, D., & Hoover, G. (2014). A Distributional Analysis of the Benefits of Economic Freedom. European Journal of Political Economy, 33, 121-133.
Downs, A. (1957). An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy. Journal of Political Economy, 65, 135-150.
Fredriksson, P.G., Wang, L., & Warren, P.L. (2013). Party Politics, Governors, and Economic Policy. Southern Economic Journal, 80, 106-126.
Garand, J.C. (1988). Explaining Government Growth in the U.S. States. American Political Science Review, 82, 837-849.
Gwartney, J., Lawson, R., & Block, W. (1996). Economic Freedom of the World: 1975-1995. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.
Hall, J.C., Stansel, D., & Tarabar, D. (2019 forthcoming). Economic Freedom Studies at the State Level: A Survey. In Economic Behavior, Economic Freedom, and Entrepreneurship. Eds. Cebula, R., Hall, J., Mixon, F., & Payne, J. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Imbeau, L.M., Petry, F., & Lamari, M. (2001). Left–Right Party Ideology and Government Policies: A Meta-Analysis. European Journal of Political Research, 40, 1-29.
Krehbiel, K. (1993). Where’s the Party? British Journal of Political Science, 23, 235-266.
Lee, D.S., Moretti, E., & Butler, M.J. (2004). Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the US House. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 807-859.
Lee, D.S. (2008). Randomized Experiments From Non-Random Selection in US House Elections. Journal of Econometrics, 142, 675-697.
Lee, D.S., & Lemieux, T. (2010). Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 48, 281-355.
Pettersoson-Lidbom, P. (2003). Do Parties Matter for Fiscal Policy Choices? A Regression Discontinuity Approach. Mimeo, Department of Economics, Stockholm University.
Reed, W. (2006). Democrats, Republicans, and Taxes: Evidence that Political Parties Matter. Journal of Public Economics, 90, 725-750.
Scully, G.W. (2002). Economic Freedom, Government Policy and the Trade-Off Between Equity and Economic Growth. Public Choice, 113, 77-96.
Winters, R. (1976). Party Control and Policy Change. American Journal of Political Science, 20, 597-636.
How to Cite
Apergis, N. (2018). DO ‘LABOUR’ COUNCILS LOWER ECONOMIC FREEDOM?. Buletin Ekonomi Moneter Dan Perbankan, 21(2), 149-160.