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Fiscal policy, rent seeking, and growth under electoral uncertainty: theory and evidence from the OECD

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  • Konstantinos Angelopoulos
  • George Economides

Abstract

We construct a general equilibrium model of economic growth and optimally chosen fiscal policy, in which individuals compete with each other for a share of government spending and two political parties alternate in power according to exogenous electoral uncertainty. The main prediction is that uncertainty about remaining in power results in increased fiscal spending, which in turn distorts incentives by pushing individuals away from productive work to rent-seeking activities; then, distorted incentives hurt growth. This scenario receives empirical support in a dataset of 25 OECD countries over the period 1982-96. In particular, uncertainty about remaining in power leads to larger government shares in GDP, which in turn exert an adverse effect on the ICRG index measuring incentives and this is bad for growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1375-1405

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:41:y:2008:i:4:p:1375-1405

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Ideology and cultural policy," TWI Research Paper Series 49, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  2. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Economides, George & Kammas, Pantelis, 2009. "Do political incentives matter for tax policies? Ideology, opportunism and the tax structure," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-09, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  4. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Political ideology and economic freedom across Canadian provinces," Working Papers CEB 09-054.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-16, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  6. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: Empirical evidence from 1951-2006," Munich Reprints in Economics 19272, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Political Effects on the Allocation of Public Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 653, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2012. "Do elections affect the composition of fiscal policy in developed, established democracies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 325-362, April.

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