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The Perfect Finance Minister: Whom to Appoint as Finance Minister to Balance the Budget?

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  • Beate R. Jochimsen
  • Sebastian Thomasius

Abstract

The role and influence of the finance minister within the cabinet are discussed with increasing prominence in the recent theoretical literature on the political economy of budget deficits. It is generally assumed that the spending ministers can raise their reputation purely with new or more extensive expenditure programs, whereas solely the finance minister is interested to balance the budget. Using a dynamic panel model to study the development of public deficits in the German states between 1960 and 2009, we identify several personal characteristics of the finance ministers that significantly influence budgetary performance. Namely her professional background seems to affect budget deficits. During times of fiscal stress, our results can guide prime ministers in the nominating of finance ministers in order to assure sound budgeting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1188.

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Length: 32 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1188

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Keywords: Fiscal policy; public deficit; political economy; finance minister;

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Cited by:
  1. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Schröder, Christoph, 2013. "Revenue autonomy preference in German state parliaments," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-090, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Schild, Christopher-Johannes, 2013. "Do female mayors make a difference? Evidence from Bavaria," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 07/2013, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).
  3. António Afonso & Maria João Guedes, 2014. "EU Finance Ministers, Capital Markets and Fiscal Outcomes," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Coalition governments, cabinet size, and the common pool problem: Evidence from the German states," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 165, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  5. Björn Kauder & Benjamin Larin & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Was bringt uns die große Koalition? Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 172, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  6. Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2012. "Do personal characteristics of finance ministers affect the development of public debt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Ronny Freier & Sebastian Thomasius, 2012. "Voters Prefer More Qualified Mayors, but Does It Matter for Public Finances?: Evidence for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1262, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Florian Chatagny, 2013. "Incentive Effects of Fiscal Rules on the Finance Minister’s Behaviour: Evidence from Revenue Projections in Swiss Cantons," KOF Working papers 13-347, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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