Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Partisan Public Investment and Debt: The Case for Fiscal Restrictions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Roel M.W.J. Beetsma
  • Frederick van der Ploeg

Abstract

The political distortions in public investment projects are investigated within a bipartisan framework. The role of scrapping and modifying projects of previous governments receives special attention. The ruling party overspends on large ideological public investment projects and accumulates too much debt to bind the hands of its successor, especially if the probability of being removed from office is large and the possibility of scrapping is not ruled out. These political distortions have implications for the appropriate format of a fiscal rule. A deficit rule, like the Stability and Growth Pact, mitigates the overspending bias in ideological investment projects and improves social welfare. The optimal second-best restriction on public debt exceeds the socially optimal level of public debt. Social welfare is boosted more by investment restrictions on ideological projects. The government then perceives a larger benefit of debt reduction. In fact, if scrapping is forbidden, optimal investment restrictions can yields the socially optimal outcome. Finally, debt and investment restrictions are not needed if investment projects only have a financial return.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://cadmus.iue.it/dspace/bitstream/1814/7338/1/ECO-2007-37.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/37.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/37

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini, 9, 50016 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) Italy
Phone: +39-055-4685.982
Fax: +39-055-4685.902
Web page: http://www.eui.eu/ECO/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: political economy; bipartisan; public investment; ideological projects; market projects; scrapping public investment; golden rule; investment restriction; deficit rule;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
  2. Thomas J. Sargent & Marco Bassetto, 2004. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," 2004 Meeting Papers 3, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  5. William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, 04.
  6. International Monetary Fund, 1996. "Budget Processes and Commitment to Fiscal Discipline," IMF Working Papers 96/78, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
  8. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolff, Guntram B., 2004. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Auerbach, Alan J., 2006. "Budget windows, sunsets, and fiscal control," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 87-100, January.
  11. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "Good, Bad or Ugly?on the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," IMF Working Papers 00/172, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Buti, Marco & Martins, Joao Nogueira & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2006. "From Deficits to Debt and Back: Political Incentives under Numerical Fiscal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 5809, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Dafflon, Bernard & Rossi, Sergio, 1999. " Public Accounting Fudges towards EMU: A First Empirical Survey and Some Public Choice Considerations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(1-2), pages 59-84, October.
  15. Ashoka Mody & Stefania Fabrizio, 2006. "Can Budget Institutions Counteract Political Indiscipline?," IMF Working Papers 06/123, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
  17. Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Debts and deficits with fragmented fiscal policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 105-125, April.
  18. Alessandro Turrini, 2004. "Public investment and the EU fiscal framework," European Economy - Economic Papers 202, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  19. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
  20. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Capital budgets, borrowing rules, and state capital spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 165-187, February.
  21. Guido Tabellini & Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," UCLA Economics Working Papers 539, UCLA Department of Economics.
  22. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Ten Commandments for a Fiscal Rule in the E(M)U," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 84-99.
  23. Andres Velasco, 1999. "A Model of Endogenous Fiscal Deficits and Delayed Fiscal Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 37-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier, 2003. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Marina Azzimonti Renzo, 2004. "On the dynamic inefficiency of governments," 2004 Meeting Papers 228, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  27. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. 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.
  29. Krogstrup, Signe & Wyplosz, Charles, 2006. "A Common Pool Theory of Deficit Bias Correction," CEPR Discussion Papers 5866, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Robert A. J. Dur & Ben D. Peletier & Otto H. Swank, 1999. "Voting on the Budget Deficit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1377-1381, December.
  31. Kenji Moriyama & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "Fiscal Adjustment in Eu Countries," IMF Working Papers 04/143, International Monetary Fund.
  32. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-13, December.
  33. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  34. Poterba, James M. & Rueben, Kim S., 2001. "Fiscal News, State Budget Rules, and Tax-Exempt Bond Yields," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 537-562, November.
  35. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2009. "Do Re-election Probabilities Influence Public Investment?," Memorandum 16/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg & Anthony J Venables, 2008. "Harnessing Windfall Revenues in Developing Economies: Sovereign wealth funds and optimal tradeoffs between citizen dividends, public infrastructure and debt reduction," OxCarre Working Papers 009, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/37. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marcia Gastaldo).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.