Economic Policies and Elections. A principal-agent point of view
AbstractOne of the most crucial lessons to be taken from the literature on electoral business cycles is that short-run electorally-induced fluctuations prejudice long-run welfare. Since the very first studies on the matter, authors have offered suggestions as to what should be done against this electorally-induced instability. As the government’s optimal policies depend crucially on the behaviour of voters, non-representative voting may, indeed, induce the government to behave as the representative of society’s interests. Given that elections are the appropriate mechanism to punish or to reward the behaviour of the incumbent, they can be used to turn voters, i.e. the public, into the principal who has all the incentives to motivate the government, as the agent, to choose appropriate economic policies. The paper analyses the circumstances under which an optimal contract can be established between the electorate and the government in order to guarantee that the government behaves in accordance with the true interests of society.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its journal Notas Económicas.
Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): 20 (December)
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Other versions of this item:
- António Caleiro, 2004. "Economic Policies and Elections, A principal-agent point of view," Economics Working Papers 9_2004, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
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