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Public Investment and Re-election Prospects in Developed Countries

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  • Margarita Katsimi
  • Vassilis Sarantides

Abstract

A growing literature suggests that office motivated politicians manipulate fiscal policy instruments in order to seek their re-election. This paper investigates the impact of electoral manipulation of the level and composition of fiscal policy on incumbent’s re-election prospects. This impact is estimated for a panel of 21 OECD countries over the period 1972- 1999. Our results suggest that increased public investment during the term in office, as well as a shift in expenditures towards public investment can improve re-election prospects. On the contrary, election year manipulation via public investment does not affect re-election prospects. We also find that voters punish politicians who create deficits during elections, while deficits that proceed the election year have similar, although smaller effects on the reelection prospects.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3570.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3570

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Keywords: political budget cycles; elections; quality of public expenditure; public investment;

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References

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  1. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco José Veiga & Toke S. Aidt, 2009. "Election Results and Opportunistic Policies: A New Test of the Rational Political Business Cycle Model," NIPE Working Papers 24/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
  3. Linda Gonçalves Veiga & Francisco José Veiga, 2006. "Does Opportunism Pay Off?," NIPE Working Papers 5/2006, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  4. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950–2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
  7. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  8. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-20, December.
  9. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  10. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2010. "Do Elections Affect the Composition of Fiscal Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2908, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Clémence Vergne, 2011. "Democracy, Elections and Allocation of Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00564572, HAL.
  13. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  14. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2000. " Fiscal Policy Cycles and Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 115-30, January.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
  16. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
  17. Marco Buti & Alessandro Turrini & Paul Van den Noord & Pietro Biroli, 2010. "Reforms and re-elections in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 25, pages 61-116, 01.
  18. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
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