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Political business cycles at the municipal level

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  • Linda Veiga

    ()

  • Francisco Veiga

    ()

Abstract

The present article tests predictions of rational political business cycle models using a large and previously unexplored data set of Portuguese municipalities. This data allows for a clean test of these predictions due to the high level of detail on expenditure items, an exogenous fixed election schedule, and homogeneity of Portuguese local governments with respect to policy instruments and institutions. Estimation results clearly reveal the opportunistic behaviour of local governments. In pre-electoral periods, they increase total expenditures and change their composition favouring items that are highly visible to the electorate. This behaviour is consistent with an effort to signal competence and increase chances of re-election. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-006-9104-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 131 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 45-64

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:131:y:2007:i:1:p:45-64

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Keywords: Political business cycles; Public finance; Local governments; Elections; Portugal;

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References

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  1. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. " Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
  2. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Positive Theory of Discretionary Policy, the Cost of Democratic Government and the Benefits of a Constitution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 367-88, July.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  5. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Blais, Andre & Nadeau, Richard, 1992. " The Electoral Budget Cycle," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 389-403, December.
  7. Baleiras, Rui Nuno & Costa, Jose da Silva, 2001. "To Be or Not To Be in Office Again, That is the Question: Political Business Cycles with Local Governments," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp402, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  8. Galli, Emma & Rossi, Stefania P S, 2002. " Political Budget Cycles: The Case of the Western German Lander," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 283-303, March.
  9. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  10. Besley, Timothy J. & Case, Anne, 2002. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 3498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear two-step GMM estimators," IFS Working Papers W00/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Francisco José Veiga & Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2000. "Popularity functions, partisan effects and support in Parliament," NIPE Working Papers 8/2001, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  13. Baleiras, Rui Nuno & da Silva Costa, Jose, 2004. "To be or not to be in office again: an empirical test of a local political business cycle rationale," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 655-671, September.
  14. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2001. "An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 570-583, June.
  15. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  18. Francisco JosÈ Veiga & Linda GonÁalves Veiga, 2004. "The Determinants of Vote Intentions in Portugal," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(3_4), pages 341-364, 03.
  19. Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2002. "The Political Economy of Local Governments' Expenditures," NIPE Working Papers 8/2002, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  20. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
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