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This paper is looking for an empirical answer to the questions: Is a unified government’s performance superior to a divided government’s performance and is the performance of a unified government controlled by the Democratic Party superior to or inferior to the performance of a unified government under the control of the Republican Party? The evaluation of the performance of the government was done using two groups of variables, three economic variables, and three social variables. The empirical analyses of data from the contiguous U.S. states (1990-2014) suggest that the economic performance of states with a unified government is inferior to the performance of states with a divided government. On the other hand, unified governments perform better in the social area as compared to divided governments. There are important differences in performance between the Democratic and Republican Parties. Unified governments under the Democratic Party are more successful in lowering unemployment rate and increasing the number of jobs compared to Republican Party unified government. Unified governments controlled by the Democratic Party lower the poverty rate and the crime rate and have no effect on the GINI coefficient while Republican Party unified governments increase the GINI coefficient.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • U.S. State Government Economic and Social Performance

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 94

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Soo Sieber is a special lecturer for Economics and Business Statistic Courses at Oakland University. Dr. Oded Izraeli is a Professor of Economics at Oakland University.