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Temporal aggregation in political budget cycles

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  • Jorge M. Streb

    ()

  • Daniel Lema
  • Pablo Garofalo

Abstract

We build a panel with quarterly data from Latin American and OECD countries over the 1980-2005 period. Annual data strongly underestimate the effect of political budget cycles (PBCs) when a pre-electoral fiscal expansion is followed by a post-electoral contraction, since the effects cancel out in the calendar year of elections, but not in the four quarters up to elections. Quarterly data show there is a significant fiscal expansion in the four pre-electoral quarters that extends, perhaps, to the first post-electoral quarter. In the next three post-electoral quarters, there is a compensating fiscal contraction only in Latin America, so PBCs contributed to public debt build-up in the OECD. Our results contradict a widespread consensus on PBCs being only a developing country phenomena - a conclusion which might have been affected by temporal aggregation - and imply that studies of electoral cycles should be done from now on with quarterly, not annual, data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION in its journal JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA.

Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:col:000425:010031

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Related research

Keywords: political budget cycles; pre- and post-electoral effects; temporal aggregation; checks and balances;

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References

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  1. Lorena Barberia & George Avelino, 2011. "Do political budget cycles differ in Latin American democracies?," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  2. Susanne Lohmann, 1998. "Rationalizing the Political Business Cycle: A Workhorse Model," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, 03.
  3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  4. Jorge Streb & Daniel Lema & Gustavo Torrens, 2005. "Discretional political budget cycles and separation of powers," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 286, Universidad del CEMA.
  5. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1996. "Political Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies in Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 155-70.
  6. Jorge Streb & Gustavo Torrens, 2013. "Making rules credible: divided government and political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 703-722, September.
  7. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  8. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in A Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338, November.
  9. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  10. Alt, James E. & Lassen, David Dreyer, 2006. "Fiscal transparency, political parties, and debt in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1403-1439, August.
  11. Fernandez, Roque B, 1981. "A Methodological Note on the Estimation of Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 471-76, August.
  12. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Lema & Jorge M. Streb, 2013. "Ciclos electorales en polĂ­tica fiscal," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 514, Universidad del CEMA.
  2. Jorge M. Streb & Daniel Lema & Pablo Garofalo, 2013. "Electoral cycles in international reserves: Evidence from Latin America and the OECD," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 526, Universidad del CEMA.

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