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Direkte Demokratie

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

Abstract

The current debt crisis in many OECD countries calls for adequate strategies in budget consolidation. To regain fiscal solvency many governments base their fiscal adjustments at least partly on spending cuts. A common political claim is that spending cuts rely too much on investment thereby undermining future long-term growth perspectives. We study the effect of fiscal adjustments on economic growth, consumption and investment for a panel of 20 OECD countries during the 1970-2008 period. Our results support the idea of expansionary consolidations in the case of sizeable adjustments and through spending cuts. The effect is primarily a result of increased consumption rather than investment. While fiscal adjustments also boost private investment, this tends to be offset by a corresponding reduction in government investment. Fiscal consolidations therefore hardly affect total investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2010-16.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2010-16

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Keywords: Democracy; Information; Human Rights; Political Reforms; Switzerland; United States;

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References

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  1. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2003. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," CESifo Working Paper Series 1087, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Matsusaka, John G, 2000. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 619-50, October.
  3. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  4. Blomberg, S.B. & Hess, G.D., 1999. "The Impact of Voter Initiatives on Economic Activity," Papers 99-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "Direkte Demokratie und Menschenrechte," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  6. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, . "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," IEW - Working Papers 098, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  8. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2009. "The economic effects of direct democracy—a first global assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 431-461, September.
  9. Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer:, . "Are Voters Better Informed When They Have a Larger Say in Politics? Evidence for the European Union and Switzerland," IEW - Working Papers 119, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2003. "The Role of Direct Democracy in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 1083, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
  12. Kiewiet, D Roderick & Szakaly, Kristin, 1996. "Constitutional Limitations on Borrowing: An Analysis of State Bonded Indebtedness," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 62-97, April.
  13. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
  14. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
  15. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  16. Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
  17. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. " Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-70, December.
  18. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2008. "Direct democracy: obstacle to reform?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 81-93, June.
  19. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mark Schelker & Reiner Eichenberger, 2003. "Starke Rechnungsprüfungskommissionen: Wichtiger als direkte Demokratie und Föderalismus? Ein erster Blick auf die Daten," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 351-373, September.
  2. Lars P. Feld & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2004. "Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence from Swiss Sub-federal Jurisdictions," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200421, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2002. "Auswirkungen der direkten Demokratie auf die öffentlichen Finanzen: Empirische Ergebnisse für die Schweiz," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(IV), pages 411-426, December.
  4. Lars P. Feld & Christoph A. Schaltegger & Jan Schnellenbach, 2005. "On Government Centralization and Fiscal Referendums: A Theoretical Model and Evidence from Switzerland," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  5. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Strengthening the citizens' role in international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 27-43, March.
  7. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Lars P. Feld, 2001. "On Government Centralization and Budget Referendums: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 615, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "Beyond Bentham – Measuring Procedural Utility," CESifo Working Paper Series 492, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Marcel Kucher & Alois Stutzer, 1999. "Outcome, Process & Power in Direct Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 222, CESifo Group Munich.

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