Temporal aggregation in political budget cycles
AbstractWe 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 InfoArticle provided by LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION in its journal Journal of LACEA Economia.
Volume (Year): (2012)
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- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
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