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Is There an Election Cycle in Public Employment? Separating Time Effects from Election Year Effects

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  • Matz Dahlberg
  • Eva Mörk

Abstract

Do governments increase public employment in election years? This article answers this question by using data from Sweden and Finland, two countries that are similar in many respects but in which local elections are held at different points in time. These facts make it possible for us to separate an election effect from other time effects. Our results indicate that there is a statistically significant election year effect in local public employment, a production factor that is highly visible in the welfare services provided by the local governments in the Scandinavian countries. The effect also seems to be economically significant; the municipalities employ 0.6 more full-time employees per 1000 capita in election years than in other years (which correspond to an increase by approximately 1%). (JEL codes: D72, H72, P16) Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 480-498

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:3:p:480-498

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Cited by:
  1. Foremny, Dirk & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Business taxes and the electoral cycle," FZID Discussion Papers 43-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  2. Eckardt, Sebastian & Mills, Zachary, 2014. "What goes up must come down -- cyclicality in public wage bill spending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6760, The World Bank.
  3. Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll & María Isabel Brun-Martos & Anabel Forte & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2014. "Determinants of local governments'­ reelection: New evidence based on a Bayesian approach," Working Papers 2014/06, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  4. Jon H. Fiva & Gisle James Natvik, 2009. "Do re-election probabilities influence public investment?," Working Paper 2009/13, Norges Bank.

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