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Separation of powers and political budget cycles

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  • Alejandro Saporiti

    ()

  • Jorge Streb

    ()

Abstract

From a theoretical viewpoint, political budget cycles (PBC) arise in equilibrium when rational voters are imperfectly informed about the incumbent's competency and the incumbent enjoys discretionary power over the budget. This paper focuses on the second condition, examining how executive discretion is affected by the budgetary process under separation of powers. We specifically model PBC in the composition of government spending. The main result is that effective checks and balances in the budgetary process curb PBC. The institutional features of the executive-legislature bargaining game, namely, the actual agenda-setting authority, the status quo location and the degree of legislative oversight and control of the implementation of the budgetary law, play critical roles for the existence and the size of PBC. These results are consistent with recent empirical findings, which show that PBC are more pronounced in developing countries, where there are also less effective checks and balances.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 137 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 329-345

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:137:y:2008:i:1:p:329-345

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

Related research

Keywords: Political budget cycles; Concentration of powers; Separation of powers; Budget process; Checks and balances; Time consistency; D72; D78; H60;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vincenzo Bove & Georgios Efthyvoulou, 2013. "Political Cycles in Public Expenditure: Butter vs. Guns," Working Papers 2013016, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  2. Cameron Shelton, 2014. "Legislative budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 251-275, April.
  3. 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.
  4. Batool, Irem & Sieg, Gernot, 2009. "Pakistan, politics and political business cycles," Economics Department Working Paper Series 7, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Economics Department.
  5. Marek Hanusch, 2012. "Coalition incentives for political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 121-136, April.
  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. Marek Hanusch & Daniel Magleby, 2014. "Popularity, polarization, and political budget cycles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 457-467, June.
  8. Daniel Lema & Jorge M. Streb, 2013. "Ciclos electorales en política fiscal," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 514, Universidad del CEMA.
  9. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Jorge M. Streb, 2011. "Estabilización económica e incentivos políticos," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 461, Universidad del CEMA.
  11. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2005. "The Political Budget Cycle is Where You Can't See It: Transparency and Fiscal Manipulation," EPRU Working Paper Series 05-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  12. 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.

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